Luang Nam Tha, northern Laos
Day XIII – March 31
I get on the Straybus and thus the Laos adventure continues.
Last night we were supposed to meet Dett for those promised beers. We did, at the agreed bar for a brief moment, but then he went ‘to pick up his sisters’ and never came back. Too bad, but we still had a good night.
When goodbye-time came, the general closing line was “see you in Luang Prabang!” To the ones who went to other direction it was “See you when we’re 50 and still on the road!” And of course the new classic “see you on facebook.”
This morning Dan and I grab a last quick breakfast together – pancakes! – and said our goodbyes. Nothing effusive, we’ll most likely meet again in Luang Prabang in a few days.
Now this whole getting on the Straybus wasn’t as easy as I made it seem there. I was supposed to meet them in front of the Gibbon Experience office, so we had breakfast right next to it. But I didn’t see that orange bus.
I knew there was another pickup point across from the pier. So I looked over there, and met Patrick, a fellow passenger, who’s to be picked up there, fifteen minutes before, had the bus shown up…
We tried contacting the office, and finally succeeded after several attempts. They had as much trouble reaching their driver. At least an hour after the original pickup they got back to us, explaining they’d already left, and were now coming back for us. They told us to wait at Sabaydee Guesthouse. Turned out that was where they’d been waiting for us before. Or well, so they said; Gibbon Experience is just a few doors down so I couldn’t have missed them…
Well, whatever, we’re on now, and making our way to Luang Nam Tha.
Yesterday a very dear friend who’d been talking of going to Asia for a while told me he’s finally actually going to do it. So I might even see him out here! I’m looking forward to seeing a familiar face. Though it’ll be weird as well, I suppose.
I find coming back to the real world a bit hard again. After this mornings goodbye to the travelbuddy I’ve had all this trip now, it feels pretty lonely on this bus with all these chatty girls.
I’m not sure what to think of Stray yet. We only just got seated, and already this form to book accommodation for the next 2 nights is under our noses. Patrick has been out for almost a year now and advises me to take it; a lot less hassle than trying to find your own place, probably cheaper if we’d share a twin, and easier to stick with the rest for dinnerdates etc. I guess he has a point.
On the other hand I’m starting to discover how easy it is to arrange stuff with the locals right there on the spot, also here in Laos; they never stop offering you rides, slowboat tickets, rooms and so on – and usually much cheaper than with western companies.
Oh, I didn’t tell you before, but there’s something you should know about Friendship Guesthouse; it has BEDBUGS. And not just one room; I slept in room 206 the first night and woke up the next morning with a lot of bites around my knee, but didn’t quite know what to make of them yet. Last night we were in room 103 and I got those same bites around my elbow and around my bum. Nasty little buggers! I always thought they were some sort of myth… Boy did they prove me wrong.
The crappy USB MP3player I bought for this trip –you get why I didn’t want to bring my 3rd iPhone, it being stolen off of me twice already- that started out with 8gig but now holds just 200 random songs because I needed the SDmemory for photos, plays me Radiohead – High and Dry and it suits my mood. I’m in a sort of state, where I don’t feel like joining the chicks chitchat in the back or like getting to know my next two nights roommate but just want to zone out. I’m hating my seat; the worst in the whole bus, designed as a last resort and without comfort. I’m just not feeling it today.
Then Goldfinger – I Really Miss You comes up. And a smile gradually fades in. “But for now I have to dream about your smile ‘cause you’re not here and all I want to say is that I really miss you” Just what I was thinking actually…
It’s moments like these that draw my thoughts back home, to my peeps, and that boy I know is there waiting for me.
So I’m extra happy to find out the place we’re staying at tonight has a computer free for use with an internet connection. Rather than go to the spa like most of the group, I use my time online, throw a few words out there to let everyone know I made it out of the jungle again, get a few of those many requested photo’s up and most importantly talk to the homefront. That felt good, and I think I can deal now with the planned group dinner tonight.
I didn’t see him online though, while I really looked forward to talking to him. Right now I do really miss him and can’t wait to get back home and start something true. If two weeks of hanging out with a fairly handsome Australian couldn’t cure me, what will?
Lesson learned: It kills you skin; the sun and bugs constant attacks despite deet, which is pretty bad for your skin anyway, and sun-block. Just is.