Payday

Day XVII – April 4

I just dragged myself out of bed as late as 11am, but I think I’ll try to catch a few more in the hammock; there’s something wrong with my head.

So yesterday I had a big stroll around town. I just ment for it to be a morning walk, but wandered all the way until 3 o’clock, getting lost every now and then in LPB’s cozy streets.
I guess this was my first all alone adventure, and a very comfortable one at that. I mentioned this town’s sweetness. It’s inhabitants are just as friendly. I felt in no way scared to be leaving all my posessions at Spicy, or to be walking around in strange surroundings with noone to guard me and my 600-euro camera, or to loose my way.

When I came back I just hung out at the Spicy balcony, reading my book, chatting with some new friends, until we left for the market to have dinner.
People had been talking about this ’10.000k to fill your plate’ deal, and Dave [27, USA] showed me to this alley where you’ve got lots of different tables -or stalles- to choose between. Each table is run by a lady and her –guessing- daughter, and is laden with all sorts of super tasty looking goods; fresh, steamed, cooked or fried vegetables, noodles, rices, meats and fruits. And all smelling like a million!
You pick one of these tables, take the plate she persistently hands you and start piling. When you’re done she’ll charge you 10.000k for the plate -extra for meat- and another 10.000 should get you a large beer, or 8.000k for cans.
Then each ‘shop’ has their own set of picknick tables, 4 or so, on which you have to find a seat, and sitting with another is not allowed. So some are rather empty, and others are completely stacked. Cramming in next to a stranger gives another opportunity to hear more of the world.
I Love this alley and I’m definitely going back tonight!

After stuffing our bellies we walked down the market, a little further down the street and sort of got lost, when we found a bridge crossing the river and leading to a very adequate beach. We sat for a while, talking, concluding place this needed a beer and a spliff.
A few hours later we found ourselves outside of Utopia again after closing time.

Sidenote on closing time: it’s at 11.30pm. Laos law dictates a curfew, so staff has to get hom before midnight. It doesn’t apply to tourists though…
Just outside of Luang Prabang there is a bowling alley that stays open until late; staff ‘lives’ there. I haven’t been there yet so I can’t tell you much about it. And I guess the tuktuk drivers who make their money off drunken tourists that do go, take the money in with the risk.
Anyway, they’re not shy at taking risk; the rest of their money they make by selling all kinds of drugs, which are highly forbidden in Buddhist countries. The ambush of drivers outside of the bars, all go: “Boling alley? Marihuana? Opium? Cocaine?”

A few of the guys got it in their heads they want to buy a tuktuk, so they engage most of the drivers. But Dave and I start our own negotiations with one of them.
I pose as the grass-expert-Dutch and tell him his askingprice is way too high for this sht, and we talk him down to 50.000k, doing the whole “no nevermind, we’re not taking it” walking away and back again haggling dance.
No tuktuk was bought, but back at Spicy the nightguard lowered the balconyblinds so to allow us smoking all the stacks that were laid out on the table. Most of it sht, except for the quite supreme weed Dave got. I rolled a small one for the two of us with no more in quantity than I’d put in a hash joint; the haze-like smell warned me it might be strong stuff. And no doubt 20 minutes later we were both high as a kite.
The perfect state to be in when watching Junglebook. Another night in the movieroom but with a much more fun bunch this time.

So I assume today’s payday…
Time to treat myself on an expensive breakfast at Joma’s Bakery. Although my stomach doesn’t seem to agree at the sight of the counter. I’ll go for safe and just order some oat cookies and a chocolate muffin, and make my way back to crash on the balcony and just listen to the sounds of the hostel.
I had plans to go to the waterfall, but I don’t think I have the strength in me today…

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2 thoughts on “Payday

  1. Smoking that good stuff hey? I guess a warning for travelers that use your recommendations is in place. What are the penalties in most of these Budhist countries on using/buying/possession of illegal substances? I know the laws in Thailand and Indonseia are insane in that matter.

  2. That’s a good point.

    I made sure I never owned or carried anything on me, as indeed the penalties are at least a number of years in jail, but deathpenalty is not a rarity. Buddhists really don’t approve of drugs and the inpact it has on society. They just don’t want their community to get involved with that shit.
    Still, the many tourists and party-packers have evoked a lively business some locals seem to thrive on. I was proven once again that, wherever there are people, there are drugs.

    I’ll get in to this topic again later. Thanks for the tip.

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