The Circus ..... such fun.

Trip Start Feb 21, 2008
Trip End Aug 21, 2008

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, July 19, 2008

Today Hels had booked herself into a massage parlour for a 3 hour pampering. I declined the offer and set off in search of the old Circus building as I had read in the local papers that there was a show there tonight and tomorrow. After walking for about an hour I eventually found the place. The building was sheped like a big tent but it is a permanent building put up by the Russians in 1980 when the Russian State Circus used to visit Laos to perform and train. For many years it has fallen into disrepair but occassionally the locals use it for a show. I looked around and eventually found two youngsters just outside the gate, lying on their campbeds chatting. I talked to them for 15 minutes and eventually the lad told me that he was responsible for selling tickets. Bought two for 30,000 Kip ( 4 US Dollars ) for the 8pm show.

Walked back and met Hels as she came out of the Parlour very refreshed and young looking. 3 hours of pampering and the best she has ever had anywhere according to Hels for only 12 pounds.

We realised over tea and baguette at our favourite spot that the 3 hours of pampering was the longest period that we have been apart since we started travelling.....apart from in our dreams!! Still good friends though.

Back for a swim and sunbathe and chatting to a Spanish couple on their honeymoon. They bought us a drink and we had a toast by the pool. Nice couple, apart from the fact that I had told Michael that I was taking Hels to the Circus as a surprise and he let it out in conversation......We think they wanted to come to the Circus instead of going for a meal with their Spanish guide.

Took a Tuk Tuk to the Circus.....wished I had taken one this morning. While waiting outside for doors to open we chatted to a Laos man and his wife Noi and their little boy Edward. We were asked about our travels and how we had heard about the Circus. Also asked us how we got to the circus and how we were getting back to the hotel. Before we knew it he had insisted that he gave us a lift back at the end of the show.....we would write his name but it was a difficult name to understand and after asking twice it did not seem appropriate to ask again. We sat and had a good laugh with them.

The show itself was very amateurish but great fun. The main man had no charisma at all. He did three magic tricks involving big pieces of old equipment where you could see the lady being sawn in half rearranging her body in this compartment. Not to be disrespectful because many of the juggling, clown acts and tumbling were very good.
The show ended with a woman "wrestling with a King Cobra"
She had two snakes. The smallest one was about 10 feet long and she danced in front of it and hit it on the head a few times. She did not really get too close. When they put that one away the second snake made an appearance and it was massive. It was about 18 feet long and weighed 15 Kg. When it flared its nack it was the size of a shovel and he or she was not too happy to be out of his box.

At the end of the show they tried to get this snake to go quietly into its box BUT it put its head in and then launched itself out again towards the audience....... the screams were wonderful and the whole section of the crowd launched itself quickly to the right and to the rear. Very funny but we would have done the same if it had happened at our end. A great great night. Many more stories to tell but would take up too much space.....

Our Laos family gave us a lift as promised and gave us a phone number in case we had any trouble anywhere in Laos. He worked for a firm called MILSEARCH and was responsible for teams of workers clearing US bombs from Laos. He reckons that he has a job for the next 99 years as only 2,000,000 more bombs to get rid of. Very nice people. We offered for them to come into the hotel for a drink to say thankyou but they politely refused as they had to get Edward home. We said goodbye and went into the hotel for a drink at 10.45pm to find the bar closed!! Good job that they refused....avoided an embarrassing situation.
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