We arrived at Luang Prabangs’ bijou airport more than prepared, thanks to a substantial supply of ‘Beerlao’, to test Lao Airs’ dodgy safety record. Additionally, we came armed with our own supply of elastic bands should the aircraft need any extra assistance getting airborne!
What consideration. Surely all velodromes could provide a designated area where nicotine addicts can calm themselves by killing themselves slowly.
Not only is it beneficial to a smokers’ mood but also helps to alleviate the stress of those having to travel with the said fag junkie. After all, they have bars inside for the rest of us.
Not that either of us drink much!
Whew – Thank God Andrew and I had packed the ‘piece’ in the main bag. It would have been confiscated were it in our hand luggage!
After a very short, calm flight, the relieved passengers clamoured into the domestic arrival ‘hall’ at Vientiane airport, like rats from a plummeting Boeing!
It was astounding. There was panic. Running, screaming, pushing – very much like an oriental ‘Titanic’ moment. These people obviously suffered from LSA. ( Luggage Separation Anxiety).
Everybody then milled, aggressively around a small conveyer belt, akin to the one on ‘The Generation Game’ in the 70s. As each piece of luggage was hurled through the open hole onto the belt, one at a time, we half expected a ‘teas-made’ and a ‘cuddly toy’ to appear.
When we finally pushed through the gang of rude, ignorant, mostly South Korean passengers to make our escape, one of them frantically kicked me in the ankle. My first thought was –
Relieved to be away from the melee, we grabbed a taxi to our guest house, excited by the prospect of hot, or at least warm water.
Our first in ten days.
However, on arrival at the aforementioned property, we are greeted with surprise. The manager is apparently ‘off’ – having his dinner and nobody else is capable of checking us into our room. No-one is actually very capable of anything, not even providing us with some basic refreshment or the WIFI password.
We wait outside for an age until the proprietor, who has the manner of a young, angry ‘Basil Fawlty’ arrives on his scooter.
He looks at us like muck, not believing we could have the audacity to stay at his posh, one star guest house.
‘We have no reservation for you’ he snarls.
‘Oh yes you do’ I reply calmly.
It is then that I show him the booking I have saved on my Kindle. Sometimes these electronic thingies really come in useful.
He reads the tablet and seems dumbfounded. He then informs us there must have been a double booking. There is only one room reserved for use by the company I booked with (Agoda), and it is already occupied!
We all then stare, silently, furiously at one another, for what seems like an eternity before he throws in the bath-towel,
‘But I do have other room you can have’ !
Eventually, after more time consuming, very ‘Red Tape’, we are taken to our room. A Pistachio affair with a couple of wall hangings and a dodgy fridge.
We’ve had much, much worse.
At least the bed is comfortable – but we are woken several times during the night by the drums of the temple, adjacent to our bedroom. An experience that gives the term ‘ a good banging’ an entirely new connotation!
At breakfast, we discover an unfriendly European family with an equally unfriendly toddler. The kid is egged on, during the eggs, to scream, throw cutlery and make loud gorilla noises by his ‘Mami and Papi.’
I’ve often thought, when encountering unruly children, that one of the few advantages, and disappointments of being gay, is that one is not expected to re-produce.
And, when babysitting, the kids can always be given back.
This brat needed to be taken out back – and shot!
I kept my patience, I realise I am not the morning person Andrew has always been. He can be annoyingly similar to Julie Andrews early AM.
A lukewarm pot of something vaguely brown, I go for the tomato ketchup – a luxury I know will lighten my mood.
It looks like a ‘Sauceicide Bombing’!
‘Basil’ looks at me incredulously.
I realise the bottle must have been on the table for display purposes only – silly me!
I have now decided we should move on from this establishment.
What with the attitude of the management, the addition of copious amounts of condensed milk to the scrambled egg, the family from hell and the ‘Ketchupgate’ incident, we hardly feel welcome.
The sauce of it!