Main Street, Luang Prabang, Laos

A journey through South-East Asia

The Lao way
Vientiane, November 27

I'm in Vientiane now, the capital of Laos, 'a classic Indochinese city with an amazingly laidback atmosphere'. Amazingly laidback... that's exactly what life in this country is like. No internet connection? Ok, try later. No water today? No, sorry, no water in the town today. Ok, shower tomorrow. Things that easily upset you in other places don't seem to matter here. As if the mild days and the colourful sunsets would smoothen people's moods.

As if the slowly floating Mekong and Nan Sung river would slow down everybody's life. Make you stay longer than planned. Let you start the day with a relaxed breakfast in the Lao-Swiss bakery, where refills are for free. Make you cut down your big plans and open your eyes for the small things. For children smiling and greeting you with 'sabaii-dii' just because they enjoy smiling and greeting. For finding yourself smiling at everybody, starting to belief that Lao-smiles are contagious. And for watching the sunset from the riverside, another endless and unbelievable sunset.

The highlight of my journey to Laos? To me, it wasn't a special place to see or a special thing to do. It rather was flowing through life the Lao-way for some days. Living instead of organizing life. Smiling instead of trying to be polite. So the souvenirs I hope to bring back from here are some portions of this feeling, wrapped in banana-leaves, sealed with blue and yellow plastic strings. But although you can pay in Laos with 3 different currencies (the double room with inside bath and hot water I share here with Bianca is 400.000 Kip or 200 Baht or 4 US$), I guess the currency for this Lao-feeling has to be invented yet.

Picture Page: Memories

Part 7: Waiting for the quiet of night

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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