. The bus sways heavily and even though I can't see, I am convinced the driver is a speed demon.
Arriving less rested than I had hoped but functioning, I tuktuk it into the centre. The guest house I had in mind is of course full. There are a half dozen other backpackers roaming the area on the same mission. Marcha, a Chinese girl had come in on the same bus and tuktuk. We bump into each other at a guest house we both can't afford and decide on the spot to share a room. It can't be tighter than those bus beds.
There is not really much else to report from my less than 40 hour stay in the Laos capital. I spend most of my time here chasing down Lao Airlines and arranging trips to other parts so I could catch up with Manu in Hanoi. The next day I am off via air to another town, where I want to see the Plain of Jars.
Finally I am off from Pakse to Vientiane with my new credit card. The night bus is my first sleeper trip. It's actually quite comfortable, though these so called VIP buses are not made for Falangs (Westerners). To get to your assigned bed you must wiggle through an aisle so narrow I can't walk straight as my shoulders are too wide. There are double bunks on each side, the size of each is narrower than most single beds I've slept in. I lucked out having one such double bed all to myself. Poor Manu didn't and had to share with a stranger, because of my silly visa card waiting affair. One double bed is about as wide as my hips, so I cannot imagine how squeezed it would feel sharing this even with someone I know. I expect a comfy night, which I might need because everything was booked in Vientiane, so I don't have pre-arranged accommodation. With nothing else to do, I follow everyone elses' lead and turn my reading light off shortly past 9pm. Despite or because of the excitement over the comfort and uniqueness of this trip, I don't feel like I am asleep the whole time