My fellow passenger
Trip Start Nov 06, 2011
57Trip End May 10, 2012
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I was the only passenger for the first two hours in the journey, until we stopped at a tiny riverside village and my fellow passenger came aboard. Similiar to the previous journey, the communication was lacking but the language difficultly was because the other passenger was a rooster. We respected eachothers space and he was entertaining company, when he stopped trying to peck at my feet.
The driver would often stop in the middle of nowhere, pick up the rooster and his homemade rifle and go hunting for wild chickens, while I put my feet up and read a book - it did occur to me that if he had an accident on the mountain side I'd be in trouble, but my book and the sounds of the birds were an excellent distraction
Maung Khua, transit point for the north and entry into Vietnam, is a dirt track village with the feel of a frontier town and I spent my time pottering around on the dirt tracks.
My not eating meat philosophy went out the window when I had paid for my bill and the women offered me more beer and buffalo soup - it felt rude declining - and very tasty but the meal will not become part of my regular diet!
The most interesting time I had here was chatting with a German guy, who was a director for a European development agency, which involved supporting the Laos government in environmental issues. He informed me that the government is trying to reduce the slash and burn culture in villages by restricting the forest areas that can be burnt and educating villagers on the environmental impact and to encourage them to produce coffe plantations instead of growing bamboo, which would improve their ecomonic situation.