Happy New Year !!!
Trip Start Dec 09, 2006
90Trip End Ongoing
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My story, however, is a little different. The delight of civilisation lasted less than 24 hours, though thank goodness I was in a good safe place for once. After having breakfast I felt a little tired so I lay down on my bed. The I felt a little chilly, so I grabbed the quilt duvet kind of thing, but somehow I still felt cold so I got in my sleeping bag liner and dragged a second duvet over me and lay there shivering and sweating unable to do anything about this most pathetic of situations, desperately hoping that someone would come and save me... it was Levi! He wanted something I'd got for him. I asked him to get another duvet which he did and then left, bless him, somehow failing to note that someone lying shivering under two duvets in a dark room in the middle of a hot sunny day may be indicative of a problem
Apart from staggering five metres from my room at some point when it was half dark (morning or evening of which day I cannot say) to buy five bottles of water, I never left the room again for at least a couple of days feverishly drifting in and out of sleep barely able to tell the difference.
When I finally emerged dazed, confused and dizzy, I had a big red balloon foot and could barely walk worse than my previous barely walk... and so the Great Medicine Hunt began! I got about 20m from my guest house on my hired bicycle when someone fired a big super soaker water pistol at me... yeah, that's just what you need when you're fresh out of a fever. Didn't get much further before I got a whole bucket of water thrown over me... great! So, it's back to the guest house for some dry clothes... some board shorts and a quick drying T-shirt, double wrap everything in plastic bags, buy a water gun, a couple of bags of flour and it's pay back time!
The whole of the main street in Luang Prabang was filled with gangs of Laos and falang with buckets, bowls and baths of water, armed to the teeth with super soakers and hosepipes
Yet again, I find that my problems become bonuses. There is no way that I or anyone with any sense would cycle down that street if they could have walked, but there is no way I would have had half the fun I had if I hadn't done that most stupid of things again and again and again. As one guy said to me, as he and three mates fired their super soakers at me non-stop for about a minute and laughing Laos almost as constantly poured bowls and buckets of water over my head and down my back whilst I tried laboriously to park my bike... "Bringing the bicycle was a bad idea." Oh, how very wrong you are... it's not like I was trying to stay dry. It was full action drive by shooting until the big red balloon tells me it's time to go home.
It wasn't until the next day that I found out that this was just a warm up before the big boys and girls come out to play! Days of fun and water.... And yes, flour, and food dye, and paint, and some never ending pot of ancient evil filth like soot and grease cooked up since the birth of time by Mother Night. Throughout the day you would turn red, and yellow and green and blue and white, like a white boards wiped clean again and again by the sheer volume of water constantly being launched at you. But the black... the black stayed. The uninhibited joy and laughter of the Lao people surprised me nearly as much as seeing the army of a communist state walking around soaked to the skin and covered in paint and flour.
For these few days there are no rules. Nobody is safe and nothing stays dry.