The Birds!

What a day this has been – what a great mood we’re in – why, it’s almost like being in Laos’!

What a country!

Rarely, nowadays, do we find an authenticity and kindness that is beyond blogs!

This place is charming.

We had croissant this morning the French colonial hangover is ever present. Comme fantastique!

AND, after a herbal tea provided by our host, Pan, I realise what puts the bang into ‘Luang Prabang’!

Our day was like something from a Hitchcock movie!

I was, of course, Tippi Hendren, and Andrew, no help at all!image

Birds, birds, nothing but birds.  Parakeets and  Peregrine and Minor Bird and Cockatoo!

Fried!

No judgement – I have no idea what the local diet consists of, but, suffice to say, Hilda Ogdan’s ‘Murial Wall’ would not have been safe!image

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I believe that’s the saying. As we rounded down a small side street we we’re suddenly in a market akin to a slaughter house – there were, quite obviously, no birds left in the bush!

Decapitation at every turn!

Eyes front, I said to myself but then came face to face with two half dead chickens – I’m still convinced that one of them looked at me pleadingly on it’s way to the block.  It was horrifying – old ‘Hitch’ would have been proud.

As we exited this scene of avian horror we had both made our independent decisions that ‘Gai’ would not be on the menu tonight.

More feathered adventure was to meet us in the afternoon.

As we came to one of the beautiful temples, a hill-tribes woman was selling small birds in bamboo cages. The idea was to set them free. Feeling in Bill Oddy mood, I persuaded Andrew to free one. Then another two. Then another three. In fact by the time we’d finished we had spent millions of kip – we could have stocked an aviary!

As Andrew freed each little creature, I  noticed that every one of them flew off in the same direction. That of their captor!image

I couldn’t help but think these were homing sparrows and we had facilitated this evil little practice. Just like the dumb tourists we are.

Still better out than in has always been my motto.

This exotic city, however, has so much more to offer than just ‘The Birds.!

Temples, old French colonial houses adorned with antique turquoise and green shutters, beautifully accommodating locals and delicious food. That is, if you don’t take the dodgy meat-market route!

One small quibble though. The Internet! Advertised at every guest house and at every cafe, it is mostly defunct. Unreliable or off seems to be it’s default setting.

We’ve renamed it, the ‘intermitentnet’!

So, not completely trusting the electronic mail and to be sure that my family receive our birthday greetings, I made a trip to the post office. A crumbling old building which contained one old fella asleep on a wooden bench. As we entered he sprang to life – somewhat affronted that he had a customer. He sold me three very odd looking stamps and I stuck them upside down onto the envelopes.

As I posted them into the decrepit post box I had a sneaking suspicion these missives would take quite a while to reach their destination.image image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I probably would have been better with carrier pigeons!

Why, oh why, did we release all those birds?

They could have come in useful after all!image

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