Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bless the Lao Police

          People who know about muscles and stuff will tell you not to work out streneously two days in a row. The first workout pushes some sort of acid out of your unused muscles while tearing them. If you don't give your body a chance to rest then all kinds of damage can occur. So after yestday's gruelling 65 km I got up and did another 25. This was against my body's better judgment and it protested.

          The sun, even shortened by the clouds, was extravegant in its pain and I was perspiring so profusely I thought that every vital fluid was leaving my body. After a horrid lunch of fried garbage balls I went to siesta in a Vat in Ban Nahin (see photos).

          I thought I was nice and refreshed after a doze and a coffee, but I was just wrong! A few minutes back in the saddle were enough to prove that I simply wasn't going anywhere.

          But this silly country! There is no shade anywhere! On the cut-off from the N4 to the dirt road leading to Paklai I fell into a heap of unconciousness on the outdoor wooden bed of a service station and there I lay and could move no more.

          I was simply shattered. The view was an ugly road and some petrol pumps. I would have wished for a more romantic view of rolling hills, but that is what I got stuck with. After a tiny rain I got back on Charlene and half way up yet another gruelling climb I was stopped by the police.

          The police in this country are in a league of their own. After a bit of friendly banter they asked to see my passport and even took a photo of it with a smartphone. Luckily I speak Lao well enough now to present well, as a teacher in Vientiane. They gave me a bottle of ice-cold water and offered to take me to the next village.

          They finally dropped me 10 km up the road and introduced me to the nai ban. They wouldn’t let me take their photos, but now we’re friends on Facebook!

          I washed up and walked to the temple. A rain and violent wind started up and all the earth smelt of goodness from the sky; I was tired, so tired.

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