Spending one week with the same two people can be a serious testament to the strength of your respective relationships. Spending every waking hour for one full week with the same two people – well its definitely more than a testament, that’s for sure. Today marks the start of our second full week together, after which I am certain I will have no words. These boys are really incredible humans, from booking rooms and planning day trips to daily conversations and card games, they are the total package. Ladies: they’re single and they return home in July.
I woke up first again this morning and went outside to blog, read, think, etc. It is so quiet in the mornings and just warm enough to feel comfortable sitting outside in shorts. Once the boys awoke we walked into town, grabbed some food, and booked our tickets for the slow boat into Laos. After that we walked to the river and sat and played cards by the water. We ordered some beers and played tunes from my phone. We all basically have the same taste in music except Avi played “Let it Go” from Frozen at one point. Eminem’s “Mockingbird” also made an appearance and I would be lying if I said the three of us didn’t rap the entire song out loud.
We started by playing the game “President” which has become a constant on the trip. The game gets old after a while and I get increasingly worse as we continue to play. I am probably over thinking it but either way, I was on a solid 6x losing streak at one point. Avi decided to teach us a Persian game called “hokem.” We played a few rounds until we realized the deck of cards was completely messed up. This was the first time we had used Avi’s deck which explicitly states that it only has 50 cards. He says he grabbed it from home. Also, there are no kings in his special deck. If you recognize that this deck only had 50 cards and we didn’t notice and you also recognize that the cards were numbered one through twelve, the fact that we played for hours not even realizing either of these things might be proof that we are going delirious. It could be the heat or each other but the struggle is definitely real.
I’m convinced our delirium is so real not only because of that little anecdote but also because Avi had a legitimate conversation with Noam today (and when I say legitimate I mean he was 100% serious) about how he thinks his beard grows slower in this heat. I’m sorry. Did you get that? He. Thinks. His. Facial. Hair. Grows. At. A. Slower. Rate. In. South. East. Asia. That is all.
We walked back to the hotel, hung out and read in the gazebo, and then went to get Thai massages. It was about $6/one hour massage. We walked to a traditional Thai massage shop just down the road. It is secluded from the Main Street which is a nice touch because it is more private and more quiet. They had us wash our feet upon arrival and change into a baggy Tshirt and loose pants. We all lied in the same open room on mats while these extraordinary Thai women pushed and pulled at our limbs. Needless to say, we felt incredible afterwards.
The day was very relaxed and I think it was the first time we felt like we were on vacation. There was no agenda and we didn’t have anywhere to be. At one point in the day, we each got a thing of mango sticky rice for 30 baht. They scoop sticky rice into a container and then slice fresh mango on top of it right in front of you. They then ladle coconut water over the top and hand it to you with a spoon. Its outstanding.
Noam wanted to watch the Arsenal game (they won woo!) and we grabbed some street food and drank beers and talked to some other English speaking folk in the bar. We ended up meeting a few Americans which is pretty rare around these parts. They were a bit older and were pretty experienced travelers which was great because they were able to give us a bunch of tips about the rest of our travels. As it neared midnight, all the bro tanks and beer pong tables came out to play. The bar was a little rowdy for us but mainly we wanted to get away from the obnoxious spring breakers.
We left the bar and headed across the river to another bar because all the ones in town had closed. Our three new American friends showed us the way and after some late night pad thai and a couple of beers, we trekked back to our hotel and got into bed around 3:00am.
There was one point in the evening that I failed to mention earlier. We met up with our friend from Redding, Adam. He was sitting on the road and he called us over to sit and chat a little. He also gave us a little gift out of the kindness of his heart which we greatly appreciated. I mentioned Adam earlier on but I definitely feel the need to mention him again. He is super friendly and down to earth, if you recall he moved to Thailand six years ago to teach English here. Adam is friends with all the locals and yesterday he went to get a tattoo from one of the shops around here. He has a number of tattoos, piercings, and he wears traditional Thai shorts with a baggy Tshirt. We ended up going back to Adams room and sitting and talking with him for a while. It was a totally random spur of the moment thing but it perfectly sums up the lax nature of our day.
Tomorrow we are taking a slow boat into Laos. The bus leaves Pai around 6:00pm and arrives in Chiang Khong around 3:00am. We sleep the night in Chiang Khong and get our visas the next morning to cross into Laos. We ride the boat along the Mekong river all day and then arrive in Pek Bang for the night. We sleep there for the night and wake up the next morning and boat all day until we reach Luang Prabang. I anticipate internet being limited but I plan to take lots of pictures and write offline throughout the two days. Also, I have lots of motion sickness medicine so…wish me luck.