Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lao-nging Around


Travels, Expected or Otherwise

Visa Run. The words are exciting and dynamic, they bring to mind vivid imagery of guns and women and fast cars and women and climactic kung fu battles on moving trains. And women. And now, once more, I get to take part in this wild adventure. So I provide, in case you wonder about my adventurous international lifestyle.

One suitcase, second hand.
Three pairs of underwear, fortunately not.
Three shirts, black red and purple.
Three pairs of pants, long. Since I have two legs, not suitable for shorts.
Two books, highly fictional.
One laptop, non-sartorial.
One AK-47, Russian made.

True story. Except for the gun. Yes, my Visa expires next Friday and so I am out to the charming Lao People's Republic next week, a Communist paradise amidst Communist paradises. Where the Mekong laps lazily at the river banks, the women are off limits to foreign men and the money is terrifyingly worthless (1 USD = 8,500 Lao Kip. They pretty much only take USD and Baht).

I am actually looking forward to my unexpected vacation, as Laos is one of the countries that I was looking to visit in my time here. Laos and Thailand have a long history of beating the tar out of each other, the kind of history only an almost shared language and background of marriages can produce. Vientiane, the capital, is also supposed to be a remarkable counterpoint to Bangkok, sleepy and quiet with remarkably little traffic as compared to Bangkok which is neither sleepy nor quiet, and can never be said to have little traffic.

So I am going to seize this opportunity to explore, even though it is spending money that would be going to my Vietnam trip. An opportunity to wander strange and exciting new streets is an opportunity to explore strange and exciting new streets, and I do not intend to look this gift horse in the mouth but ride it all the way out of this silly metaphor.


P.S. So I will post pictures of Malaysia this weekend, and take pictures of Lao next week. I am going to try to be better about posting them, rather than waiting months and months. Which means my New Years Eve pics, the Semi Fabled Quasi-Mythical Second Picture Post, is forthcoming as well.


  1. Promises, promises (on the pictures!) Anyway, have a great and safe trip. Love you lots.

  2. Dear Matthew,

    So, an unexpected Visa Run? That sounds like something planned for didn't happen, eh? Remind me to quibble about one of your commas. If, for no other reason, it demonstrates my intense study of all of your musings.

    Laos sounds exotic, in a sinister sort of way. As the tall Polish female NYC cop once told me "you be careful out there."




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