Monday, March 27, 2006

Vive Vientiane!

First lets clear some misconceptions: Laos is not actually Laos but Lao. The French accidentally put an 's' at the end when naming the country officially but the lovely lackadaisical Lao or Laotian people have put up with this mistake. Lao(s) is a communist country but as of yet I have found little evidence of this-not that I really know what I could look for. The Laos have been invaded throughout history, and borders have been pushed around until this country which is relatively new in the eyes of ancient Southeast Asia was given its present territory just to be blanket bombed for nine years by the US military during the Vietnam war to control the perceived "domino effect" of spreading ('evil') communism. So there is French music in cafes with baguettes and Thai soap operas on television plus the evidence of the prominent-but not dominant Theravada Buddhism in the temples and religious shrines.
We arrived yesterday in Vientiane, the seemingly lazy capital lies in a bend of the Mekong River. Though we have only spent one day here we are looking for a quiet that the city can not provide so we are off to the north and thus deeper into Lao(s) by bus via Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang which is supposed to be spectacular. We also want to bide our time carefully in the places that interest us the most because time is of the essence in our final weeks of traveling. So last night we drank our first Beer Lao- famed for its superior quality but to me it just tasted like beer, maybe the draft will be better, they also have a 'dark' version. I am determined to like beer but maybe it's just not me and I will be condemned to girly drinks and gin and tonic with lime but because these are pricey, I usually just take a coconut or banana and pineapple shake instead.


At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sis,

I can't believe it is only a few more weeks left on your "Adventures in Paradise" trip. Make the most of it and enjoy those girlie drinks if you have to!

Love you both and thinking of you
Hugs, Kisses and all that
Big Sis


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