Trip Start Feb 20, 2012
126Trip End Oct 22, 2012
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But there was no space for the bad feelings that morning, just the fresh air, the motorbike, and the music! Wat Phu is the first bite of the Khmer art we are going to taste, originally a Hindu temple consecrated to Shiwa's Linga (aka Shiwa's Penis)
Few steps on our way back, and an old lady finds her way into our brother&sister jokes. She is Italian too and amazingly energetic (biked 10 km under the sun to the temple and walked uphill for other 3). We are both impressed, looking at her and feeling ashamed for having complained for the slope! Also in the pictures that we are asked to take, the pose she chose is a combination of Rocky Balboa and a dancer from a Broadway musical. Really impressive! after leaving her I keep thinking why such a energetic and for sure curious person should in the end surrender to cliches like "Milan isn't anymore as it was used to be"
On the way back to Pakse we try to find our way to an island in the middle of Mekong, we are looking for some handicrafts. The map doesn't help and we ask several time to some locals. The last one shows as three fingers and then makes the sign of turning right. Ok, easy, three streets and then right, we are almost there! We take the third road (a dirt road) and continue to drive some kilometer. Shouldn't be so far, right? The few Laotian we met do not even understand the question. Finally after some time a man in a motorbike. The island? No, no no no! Not this way, follow me! When he stopped (several kilometers after) and pointed the finger the misunderstanding was clear, they don't count streets, they count villages!! The man, a military, that showed us the way was now showing us money and repeating the word 'beer''. Fair enough, we were quite out our way and you showed us the way, let's drink a beer. After parking the motorbikes. We realized for the second time that there was a misunderstanding. He was not asking for a beer!! He was offering us!! We tried to insist to pay, to wash off our unjust touristy thoughts, didn't worked. Kopchai Lai Lai!! He left us after writing his name and phone number on a paper (if you need me). Definitely we were not able to communicate in words but I was glad to him for this lesson about Laotians.
In the evening we went to eat on the Mekong river, grilled fish. You could taste the 4000 km of soil that the water had touched before coming to this point. While eating I felt nostalgic about the duck noodle soup of the morning. Strange enough for an Italian not dreaming pasta!