Saturday, October 22, 2005

To Laos We Go

We are heading to Laos tonight -- tomorrow morning we'll cross the border in the South and pick up on a journey we attempted to make a few months back. The wet season is over, now, and so we have succeeded (for the most part) in following the sun and avoiding the rain. Our journey to Indonesia was a detour in this mission -- originally we would have crossed the border of Laos and Cambodia.

The last few months of our trip seems as if it's all about islands -- first the islands of Indonesia, then Thailand's Koh Samui, and now Laos' 4,000 islands, tiny parcels of land that rise out of the Mekong River as it splits into what seems like a thousand Mekong Rivers. Looking at the area on a map, the path of the river takes on the appearance of marbled fat in meat, the network of veins in the body, the haphazard rivulets of paint in a Jackson Pollock painting...

Like all island life, the 4000 islands promises to be slow and meandering while we're there. There is no electricity and so, according to the guidebook, finding accomodation in the sweltering heat is all about 'air flow'. Looking for a bungalow with more than one window will be our biggest goal. Price won't really matter; most of the accommodation is listed as $1.00.

Laos is going to be like journeying back in time -- it is not a modern place. There are no ATMs, the largest note of currency is equivalent to $2.00, and the middle class in Laos reportedly earns only $100.00 a month. Things are simple there. We've been to Laos before, but the 4 days we spent was hardly enough. This time 'round, we'll be there for one month, moving from South to North...

If blog entries are few and far between, it's only because you cannot find the internet in a time capsule....


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