Taking The Time

Trip Start Feb 20, 2012
Trip End Oct 22, 2012

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Friday, March 30, 2012

Waked up early has become a standard, whoever has shared this moment with me in the past would be surprised. We decided to move a bit more south. Close to the border. The area is called 4000 island. There are three options. Don Det (party!party!party!) Don Khong (just small villages and rice field) and Don Khon (something  in between). Few days to recover before jumping in Cambodia. The choice among the possibilities isn't a real one.

After quite a long walk and a lot of discussion with the tuk tuk drivers we arrive to the southern bus station of Pakse. Which one to Don Khong? That one. How much? 50000 Kip. What????? It took two hours (the time necessary to the bus to find all the necessary customers), but in the end we managed to pay 35000 kip. The poor driver didn't know what this would have meant. Everybody was speaking about us on the pick-up. We could not understand the details but it was clear that it was about the falangs and some numbers. Just outside the bus station a fat lady was picked up, and the bomb exploded: What?? The falangs paid just 35?I paid 40!!! All the heads were nodding with the exception of the driver's helper. He knew he would have had a hard time to collect the money. All through the 3 hours trip the topic was swinging between buying something to eat and the price the falangs paid. Just one choice left to the driver, try to leave us before the last stop. We refused and at that point everybody started laughing, also the helper of the drive. He gave back some money to the other customers, we understood that these last days were just for the relax. It was time to move to the next country, Cambodia. Taking again the time to gauge the life of people.

The 3 days on the island were just a series of bicycle rides and walks around. Time to think about this amazing country, fixing in the memory as much as possible. 4:30 am open the eye and go to the market. 8:00 pm starting to feel sleepy. Unconscious Laotian rhythm in the blood. The smell of the flower is solid, In the evening there is an explosion around each plant, the humidity keep it kind of pinned to the origin, intense. Not much to do, and still feeling not to waste the time. We were  invited to participate in a birthday party of one of the village kids (5 years!) . The linguistic barrier was overcome for at least half an hour. The time for couple of glass of beer served in the Laotian style and both us and our guest realized that we could not substitute the lack of a common language with beer. Kisses from one of the guest, drunk but still able in a quite high percentage of the case to figure out the sex of his target suggested the end of our stay. Seating and letting the time pass. Then suddenly music and a crowd of people holding a canvas with religious drawings. Everybody was gathering to the temple. That's it, we were ready to leave.

(BTW we made a donation to the temple to thank the local god for the little consequences of our accident, just to be on the safe side ;-) )
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