Flying Air America & Surviving
Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
163Trip End Ongoing
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Air America is a movie staring Mel Gibson that takes place during the Vietnam War. Laos, being a neutral country, is off-limits to American Forces. Instead, the USA sends in a group of CIA agents to help the insurgents. The war is almost over and Mel Gibson's character, a pilot, starts gathering his retirement plan of stockpiled ammunition which he plans on selling on the black market. Greed is replaced by compassion when he has to dump his load to help a Laos village under attack.
I thought of this movie when I booked my flight to Laos because I read that Air Laos' safety record was on the not-so-good side. The twin-prop plane would be similar to the one used in the movie. There was also a positive message to the movie, that, though it may be hard to do, doing the "right" thing is always the answer.
I had to pack up and vacate my room by 11am. The taxi was picking me up at the hostel at 3pm to give me a ride to the airport. I had lots of time to do stuff. And so I wrote my blogs, went for a walk to video tape the Sights & Sounds videos, and I tried to use Skype. I've downloaded the Skype application to my iPhone. I get to use my phone without the long distance charges if I can find a wifi signal. I call Katrine but she doesn't answer. I leave a message. I call Alexis. The connection is very poor. We still chat a bit.
Off to the airport. Can't find the check-in counter for Air Laos, they all say Vietnam Air. Ask, and get directed to the right one. I'm early and can't check-in. I'm waiting when I start reading the carry-on restrictions. Oops! Forgot to put my Leatherman multi-tool (similar to a Swiss Army knife) in my checked luggage. Do that. Finally at the counter and put my pack on the scale. My pack weighs 19.4kg. The limit is 20kg. Just under the wire.
I hit a cafe for some supper. All the waitresses are so cute. Then I clear security. I get asked to open my day-pack. They've notice my key chain. It's a pocket knife I purchased at the Hearst Castle in California last spring. They confiscate it. Hmmm? Made it through security in Vancouver with it.
On the plane. Sitting next to a Korean woman from Chicago. The fight attendant is so beautiful. Wonder if all the Laos women look like this?
We arrive in Luang Prabang an hour later. The plane was in better shape then the one in the movie. Get my Laos Visa at the airport. I show the taxi driver the address to my hostel. He hasn't the faintest idea where this is situated. The town isn't that big. Realize after that the address on hostelworld isn't right. My guest house room is amazing.
It's after 8PM and I go for a walk around town. Lots of tourists out. I run into my seat mate.
Then off to bed. Another city and country to explore.