Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not in the Shangri-la sense

Turtle-cupcakes- flavor not form does not go further to explain anything whatever except that maybe they taste like baby pond turtles. I am unconvinced pre-birthday girl.

And since we're on about food, and I've got a bus to catch in an hour- it was all going to be really efficient to have an omlette and baguette at the guesthouse- but then they thought I wanted scrambled eggs and an omlette? and then she never came back with my bread until I finished so I just refused to pay for it and it took long enough that they were like oh, sorry- so now i'm at the trendy western café having a 1/2 off chocolate croissant from yesterday and an iced cap. Apparently my breakfast self has no apparent concern for how to slice my budget to make it last. I have a 4 hour busride to think about it. Oh also- the missionaries relatives- Buddhists- ok- but they charged me double for what the anti-nausea meds cost. I bought another set just in case and I was like wait what, only 4,000? Not 10,000!? Agh! Pisses me off. Nevermind. It's so incremental but that's not the point. Nevermind!

So allergies- I have no idea how you missed the thread- all my tests came back negative for gluten allergies and all and i'm mysteriously still highly allergic to "something" they don't know what- and only mildy allergic to pork and cockroaches. Though I've been having baguettes up and down the borders here it's a bad "western" breakfast habit- I had some unhealthy bread just the other day and my intestines got angry and my joints flared so I can't say i'm integrating wheat back into my daily anything- except for 7grain bread. I'm excited to eat that and sourdough- I really think fish tacos should be with corn-ts- but i'd be willing to eat yours whatever way you make them.

I can't believe I  didn't write to you in Phonsavan. I was irritated mainly because I couldn't find anyone to do my trek with me. But that's because they sort of trap and isolate tourists and i'm not as extroverted, and lacking in time to pull forces together and leave notes around town. It was a weird border town- it felt on the edge of something- people were into all sorts of things and the main pull of the town is the plain of jars- funerary or giants drinking cups who knows and UXO. It was glaring and hot at the first place, scenic and lovely at the 2nd, but it's not like we had packed lunches to stay- which would've been nice, and then the 3rd, hotter and less scenic. Everyone thought the noodle soup was good for lunch and I can't tell if they were being polite or if they really thought it was good- and then good for them for being easily pleased. They're not tyrannized by high standards.

Meanwhile you gaze around at this land that's sort of made to roam, to take a horse through or to wander around- kind of scenic. Hills. Cleared land, some forested areas- and then you think, oh right- Bombs. Every-where. And to think Kennedy started that mess! And then you add bomb dumps before the planes returned to the ships because that was "less" dangerous and secondary targets in lieu of targets in Vietnam and then actual civil war and war and whatever and different terrain opposed to WWII terrain, and you have a monster problem of unexploded ordinance aka UXO. I bought a t-shirt to support the clearance cause and some aluminum bracelets made from rocket caps. Though it'll take 150 years at this rate- Granted they're turning this whole thing into a bit of a gimmick (bombs as garden beds, or satellite dish stands but it has to be true at the core i think- and it gets a bit tiresome with the whole anti-US vibe, let alone the rather slanted video they show at the MAG office- as if French colonialism and the ensuing war was a breeze in the park in comparison- and oh communism! but ok fine- it is horrifying, cluster bombs. Shudder. People going about their business and they strike one or they're trying to make a quick buck with warscrap and boom! There's only one line in the video about the US trying to give aid and it being declined by the laos govt. Claiming "complex" relationship. Whatever I get it. Totally heinous problem.

Oh Phonsavan! You could've been epic but you were just a weird off-kilter and thus I suppose memorable place with your sudden rain storm, random mist, and aid organizations left and right. I did meet a lovely French couple named John-Pierre and Christiane. I had some amazing Indian Food too. And the 2nd day I did a bit of a prayer walk and walked and then walked some more and ended up at a place called Mulberries where they do some amazing work with natural dyes and silkworms- though the minute you start hearing "Chinese involvement" and investment in Laos or Vietnam and it makes one a bit nervous- but then you go oh back to amazingness and silk--- ooo. Though I am a fan more of high quality cotton. Nevermind! I have to go soon.

So that was the 2 1/2 days there. The long bus ride there I spent mostly passed out, tittering bus driver, check, yet another couple traveling together, right, and then a hellish road out to Laung Prabang where even though I took the sleepy drowsy pill of thanktheLord they invented it and it works, I slept because holyhell the pinturns! Another traveler got sick. Luckily we pulled over and my new travel companion of 3 hours at that point, we both peed off the side of the road - so I didnt' have to later be outraged by having to pay to go to the toilet not 30minutes later! You get weird traveling. I just sound strange to myself hemming over $1 and cents but it's my job for now I guess. I'd say i'm doing average or passable - and i'm ok with it! right?! Ok. Yes. OK.

Anyway the temp picked up, passing through the cloud line, and the roads got back to dusty, and we were back at the Mekong delta level of things. I expected to roll into this palm trees dripping by the waters edge (dry season- oh right, nevermind) and the saffron robed monks in this sort of haze (bcs of all the slash/burn farming- also heinous) of colonial charm and it's so not. People sort of go all wistful about how you could stay here and isn't it lovely? But only because the snake that you didn't see has anesthetized you and is slowly coiling its way around you to consume you. But more on that once I get to Nong Khiaw. I don't have the headspace to keep rambling on. I hope there's some sort of internet connection- it's suppose to get more "rustic" from here on out so I don't know.

Oh! and I'm so glad you didn't release the butterflies- I had that thought going to sleep one night. Just a quick distressing truth about cold weather. Perhaps they can live their lifecycle in the hot house and you can order another such thing for spring summerish? and then release those ones?

All right, thanks for listening my dear friend. I've got a four hour ride to the north-east of here and a budget table to stare at. I mean if you happen to see any jobs i'd be perfect for... nevermind nevermind one thing at a time.

My love,

1 comment:

somebody's mom said...

Happy traveler... keep on keeping on.