What a crazy day

8 Dec

Ok, I know that I haven’t been keeping up my end of the bargain with this posting business. I promise I have lots of drafts saved, but have just been struggling to find the time to finish the drafts off and get them to your curious minds and curb your enthusiasm.

Today has hit me like a tonne of bricks. I woke up not too late but feeling a little under the weather. Not sure if it’s the smell of burning plastic or a lingering chest cold I picked up while doing the Thakhek Loop but I was not feeling the best. I started off with work in bed. Sent off some results from a bunch of experiments we did last week and then started to chat to Elizabeth. Fast forward a few hours and I was riding home after picking up a Lao-style Vietnamese Banh mi roll. I had one last night and was craving another one. They tend to swap the pickled carrots for the papaya salad over here but I have to say, and this is going to be controversial, the ones here are better than the rolls both in Australia AND in Vietnam. Maybe it’s the MSG or the delicious coriander but they are very tasty.

Having smashed the roll, I jetted off to the gym with plans of taking my first Lao yoga class. Now I wasn’t expecting anything amazing or anything but what I got was way, way below my low expectations. The classes at this  “western-style gym” are held in a big warehouse-type room with a concrete floor. Not unlike the floor at the Virgin Active gym I used to frequent. Well…it’s actually very much unlike that gym.

There were already a number of people in the warehouse, waiting for the class to begin. I got my soft mat-type thing and began to watch the other people take selfies, talk on the phone and just generally act uninterested to about to do yoga. It was the most un-yoga like place I’ve ever been to. Our instructor was a lovely ladyboy named Vanhly with a sparkling “sexy sure” top on. The class was in Lao and in the 20 minutes that I managed to hang around, we did a total of 1 pose that I have ever seen or done at any yoga studio.

Following that experience, I bought some groceries and was riding home, trying to decide where to get dinner when I witnessed the most horrific thing I have ever seen. Here’s a recap:

I was riding my bicycle
Riding around, not knowing if to get dinner or not
I was riding for ages
Aimlessly
Then when I was on this long and dark road, heading home, I decided to do a u-turn and actually get dinner
50m after I did that, I saw 2 motorbikes heading the opposite way
I don’t think they had lights on or were wearing helmets
A random parked car that was on their side of the of the road started to do a u-turn
They were obviously going too fast and either not paying attention or were drunk
It looked like they had enough time to stop or maybe they thought the car would stop doing the u-turn and they could get around it
One motorcyclist started to break and was swerving but managed to just stop in time
While his mate t-boned the car at full speed
He hit the car just as I was passing it
The sound of the impact was horrible
Some shrapnel hit my body
Something hit my bike
I just ducked my head and rode another 50m or so
I was in massive shock
Didn’t know if to stop or not
There were people on either side of the road that were yelling
I stopped, looked back, saw the bike mangled up in the car and then started to ride again
I have heard stories of foreigners stopping at accidents and then getting the blame by police and the people in the accident
I also watched an Insight episode that covered this very issue
I would be surprised if the guy survived
He slammed into the driver’s side of the car so the person in the car could have been hurt too
I didn’t know if to go back and help or not
I just kept riding
I rode home in a state of shock. 

From the land of Laos,

Len

P.S. To leave on a slightly more pleasant note, I have spent the past hour playing hide and seek with a mouse/rat that is part of a family that lives in our walls. It managed to get onto my bed twice. I don’t know why it wants to go there but I’m going to try really hard to not think about it.

The illusive rat

The illusive rat/mouse

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