May 30, 2010

american imperialists

after the tours i take a night minivan to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. it’s a nine hour drive. something happens at the bus station that is way to involved to explain here but i had been traveling with a couple of really great Australians and they get don't get seats on the bus. i don't either but the ticket i bought was for a minivan which no one had explained to me.

so, it's 8:30PM and i am the only westerner sitting on a minivan with 14 passengers. i hang out the window, wish my Aussie friends luck and ask the guy with the clipboard what time we arrive in Vientiane. he does the math in his head and says 6AM.
two hours into this ride the woman next to me if vomiting and passes out and her two year old daughter ends up curled in my arms. i think they call this connecting with the locals.

we arrive about 5am i check into a hotel, take a nap and then go to the bakery. the French legacy in Laos are the bakeries. bread is conspicuously missing from the asian diet and so it is one thing i have really missed and based on the popularity of the bakeries i would say i am not the only one who appreciates the legacy.

i go to the National History Museum although i have heard it is really just propaganda for the government. i go because i really want to understand the people and the government and the culture. it is indeed room after room documenting the glorious victory of comrades of the revolution against the US imperialists and their puppets. it may even all be true and accurate but i leave with a question in my mind. ‘how’s that communism thing working for you?’

i book a flight to leave tomorrow for Phnom Penh, Cambodia. it was 1,200,000 Kip [$160US].  at the travel agent i count out the money.  i was short a bit because of the limit on ATMs of 700,000 kip per day so i used a few American dollars which they accept as well.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a blast! You know - Laos was the dark spot of the world during the war - no one came out alive who was captured. Get lots of pictures, I'd really like to view the area through your eyes!