Monday, 9 November 2015

Laos Week 1

One  week  without writing and  I’m out of practice.  Not to Mention the  frustration with a coMputer which  I have to trick into working. The  space  bar  will only  work  if I press  the shift key at  the saMe tiMe and  lower  case M  has  died.  Other  functions are conspiring  to  follow  suit. I  need  a new  coputer. Hence My blogging will be short. A  constraint which Might teach Me soMething.  A  new awareness of the  frequency  of  the use of the letter M in the world for example.

Brevity  HMMMMM,  not My best suit. IMpresssions.

Day 1, Flying into Luangprabang below the height of the surrounding Mountains, following the line of the valley like a sfighter pilot, wild jungle-clad country below and deep green forest crawling up the hills on either side.
Day 2. Wide brown Mekong River. Barely a sign of life as we Motored upstream for two hours. The river is at summer height  -  Metres below  wet season  level.
Day 3. Tourists are like  plagues of locusts – they swarm. At the beautiful waterfalls 40 Minutes outside Luangprabang they  are there in full force. The rock pools are beautiful – a powdery  blue colour.  Laos is a conservative country, odest, but the tourists ignore this and strip to their skiMpy g-strings and  plunge in, I’Mn no different, I suppose, in My budgie sMugglers.
Day 4. The technical deMands of weaving silk thread on a hand loom (where did that lower case M coMe from?). I watched a young girl for five Minutes and she completed about ten rows. Every tiMe she shot the spindle across through the warp (or weft – can never reMeMber which is which) she had to reset the threads and adjust the tension etc etc. Talk about painstaking. It takes seven weeks to complete a three Metre length.

Day 5. OMG. A simple (there’s that erratic M again) bus ride turned into an epic journey. SoMe local rules I was unaware of. 1. Buses leave when they are full – so tiMetables are a guide. 2. Buses can be encouraged to leave on tiMe if the passengers pay the cost of the eMpty seats. 3  All buses going to the saMe destination Must share the passengers equally – lots of negotiations and enticing beMused passengers to change buses before we can get under way. Add to those rules abuswhich turned back half an hour into ours trip to pick up soMe passengers we had Missed and asset ofBrakes which the driver stopped to check a couple of ties Making us very nervous as the trip was into the mountains. A 3 hour trip becaMe a  6 hour ride. The destination (for a one night stay) was nevertheless beautiful and worth the trip.

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