Saturday, February 7, 2015
There's no point in asking people instructions. I found a Lao ex-pat who asked for me and was told that the only guesthouses in Viang Xay were on that one strip, which later turned out to be bullshit, of course.
So I checked into a place that had a main building and two bungalows which served the professional needs of two young ladies. The room smelt of bad sex and had a box of condoms (Made in Malaysia, of all places) instead of soap. The owner grunted to invite me to have some rice wine and then grunted more severely when I refused.
The restaurant down the road only served Phô, but they told me about an Indian restaurant in town, near the market and not far – of course – from plenty of nice places to stay.
After six tragic months in India I had always found it impossible to eat Indian food. The smell of it reminded me of leprosy. But I was strangely in the mood for some Chicken Butter Masala, so off I went. Ah, India: you never fail to amaze me! Iindia: I'll Never Do It Again! The fat boss sat in his chair watching Hindi sitcoms at top volume, as is to be expected. When I went to tell him I would like to order he called out to his lackey, a delightful waif of an Indian man who ran the kitchen, "Sanjay, client wallah wants to order!" and out ran Sanjay, thoroughly harassed and covered in smatterings of wheat flour and masala, to take my order smiling in all humility.
The food was delicious. The place was filled with tourists trying to speak English. Client wallah didn't think of lepers the whole time.