Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Mundane Extraordinary Day In Viang Xai

Today I haven't really done a lot. The big attraction in Viang Xai is the caves, and I've already seem them. But there is some cool stuff to see from wandering around the town, so I wandered some, and checked out the town. There are a lot of dirt roads, and some of them are almost as narrow as paths. I just kind of meandered for a while.

Then I went to the Indian restaurant in town to eat some great food. That is becoming my go-to place in Viang Xai. I have eaten almost all the meals I have eaten in Viang Xai there. My next stop was the pharmacy, where I replenished my supply of hydrogen peroxide. I also turned my laundry over to the hotel's laundry service to be done. This will be the first time in quite a while that my laundry has been done in a washing machine. Even when I was in my apartment in Hanoi, I didn't use the washing machine much, because I had so little laundry, I just washed it in the sink as I usually do when travelling. Before I could wash stuff, I needed to first take off my bandages, so I could take a shower, so I could put my dirty clothes that I have worn for several days in the wash. And I did that yesterday, and changed clothes after the shower, so I was ready for laundry.

I also extended my hotel stay to a total of a week, so I can sit here and recover for a bit. Unfortunately I only have a month visa in Laos, so that cuts out some time, but I think I might be able to extend it for one more month if I need to.

I also did some preliminary cleaning of my mud-caked gear today. I took it outside and scraped as much dry mud as I could off of everything that was muddy, next I need to wash it. But with all the gauze on my hands, that is going to be difficult. So I changed the gauze on my hands again and will let the wounds air out for the rest of the day.

Then I got back to the hotel and was sitting on a bench outside my room (where wi-fi is available), checking some stuff online. Then I sat there studying Vietnamese from my flash cards. A Vietnamese guy staying at the hotel saw what I was doing, and saw me struggling with the pronunciations of the words and phrases, so he sat down next to me to help me with correct pronunciation. That was a great interaction with somebody that I could barely communicate with; he spoke no English, and I speak only a minimal amount of Vietnamese.

You might say it was a pretty mundane day. But it is extraordinary because I'm in fucking Laos.

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