Ok, I'm really stretching these name jokes aren't I. So I am safely ensconced in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. My hotel is neither the five minutes from the city center it promised nor does it have wifi, and the train was late so I couldn't get the Visa I wanted. Fortunately I can get the minimum Visa I need (30 days) and get an extension to last me until Ho Chi Minh City, where I can get a 3 month or (God willing) my one year multiple entry.
Coming from Bangkok, Vientiane is definitely sleepy like the guidebooks describe it. It is a fascinating contrast, I think. The taxi broke down on the way to my hotel, further guaranteeing I wouldn't make the cut off time for passports, and we waited an hour while he tried to fix it for another cab. In Bangkok I can be reasonably certain of walking no less than a block in most places and finding a cab more than happy to take over. In touristy places they are even playing my favorite game of 'Honk Honk', where I see how many taxis and tuk-tuks will honk at a white guy standing there in hopes of taking his money.
I'll post more about my Laos experiences when I get back to Bangkok Sunday morning, and post some pictures. Just wanted to let everyone know I am safe, and happy for varying definitions of happy, in Laos.