Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back To The Future - October 19th, 2010

Back To The Future

I know this is hard to believe, but the minute you cross the Mighty Mekong you have placed yourself in a time machine.

Fifty years. That’s how much older and richer and more sophisticated the world is on the Thai side of the border.

I guess anybody can have a personal preference, but I’ll take the Lao side of the border any day, and coming back is always coming face to face once again with this sweet and honest people. I have nothing against the Thai, but the Lao are in a class of their own.

We went to Udan Thani for several reasons. We had to do our monthly visa run until our more permanent status can be arranged. We had to visit the International Hospital and interview the doctor. We had to pick up Camille, Marie-Do’s cousin, visiting from France and arriving Sunday morning on the night train from Bangkok

(For my adventures on that train, read "Yom Kippur In Bangkok").

Camille’s train was flooded out 300 clicks from Udan and her train arrived 12 hours late.

Other than that we were dazzled by the modernity of the place. An Ikea, supermarkets, department stores … I was finally able to buy quality ear-buds for my I-pod and reading glasses that maybe won’t break after a week! We loaded up our suitcases with power adaptors, power tools and kitchen knick-knacks.

Living in the past is great, but being able to shop in the present is even better!

Anther thing that amazes: Night Markets!!! It is impossible not to fall in love with this festive night life! Great food, impossible prices; all the smells and enchantments of the Far East. The sweet sauce they put on roast chicken, the chili dip for the freshly boiled clams, the quiet intention to consume of thousands of people, the sounds of Buddhist television from every corner…

Because Marie-Do and Maya-Swann stayed in Thailand to wait for Camille, Zephyr and I crossed back into Lao on Sunday night. Bus to Nong Khai, tuk-tuk to the border, bus to Lao immigration, taxi into town. A long and tiring night for a little boy and his papa.

But this Zephyr is no ordinary little boy! He is a born traveler, mature and great company to boot.

On a footnote: The potholes in the paved road two dirt roads up from our house were repaired during our absence. Maybe the Moshiach is coming!

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