Saturday, 27 April 2013

Laos Laos Whiskey, Bowling Alley +...antiseptic cream!

Me and the girls awoke at 9am and it was still storming. So we donned our rainmacks and ponchos  and headed out to Spicey Laos Backpackers to see if they had beds for us and the guys. Turns out they did so we paid our deposits and headed back to tell the guys who were now up. We packed, and upon bringing my stuff downstairs I was promptly handed a little Lao baby boy to cuddle – the guesthouse we had stayed in was family owned and I think they must have wanted the baby to have some falang (foreigner) interaction. So me and the guys played around with baby until the girls were ready.

We then went out for lunch at a local place round the corner, where I had one of their spicy noodle soups, it was a little like a soupy, spicy, spaghetti bolognaise. Yum! Then we went back to grab our bags and walked over to Spicey Laos, luckily it had stopped raining now. Checked in, showered, put some washing in, and we all went off separately to tour Luang Prabang, suggesting a meeting time of 7.30pm for our planned night out.

I walked into town and found a lovely French-inspired Cafe where I had a drink and used their wifi to update my blog. Then I took my stuff back to the hostel, saw Lucy and Robyn briefly and then I decided to hike up to Phousi temple, on a hill just down the road from the hostel. It was a bloody tiring hike up the steps, but along the way I saw the Monks living quarters and you can also see the imprint of Buddha’s foot, then after paying 20,000 kip you can take another long hike up to the Phousi Temple which offers spectacular 360 degree views of Luang Prabang, the Mekong and Nham Kan rivers and the amazing mountains beyond. I stayed here for a while, appreciating the views, taking pictures and catching my breath after the climb up.

I then climbed down, looked into one of the caves where you can pray, and then made my way to Utopia, which we’d heard was the best bar in town ‘Zen by day, groovy by night’, which it certainly was. It was a lounge bar that was right on the river offering a spectacular veranda to sit on while you chill-out, it reminded me of a similar cafe me and Sam used to frequent in Rishikesh, India.

It was then almost 6pm so I headed back to the hostel aiming to start getting ready, but my washing wasn’t done, so I waited around for that. Luckily the girls came back after me and were also late getting ready so I wasn’t the only one keeping the boys waiting. Once ready, it was then the boys turn to keep us waiting as the two guys the girls knew from Thailand who we’d met last night, were late (they were supposed to arrive at 7.30pm, didn’t get there until 8pm, tsk). So we waited around for them in the common area downstairs. Whilst waiting we met some other people, a guy from Pennsylvania in the US, Jesse, who looked like he should have been a part of the boy-band Hansen, and a guy from Oz, who was actually British but had been living there since he was 15, called James.

Once the guys arrived, we then all headed to Laos Laos Gardens, which had happy hour on cocktails, all day, every day – woop for the girls! When we arrived we were instantly handed raspberry Laos Laos Whiskey shots (think moonshine then add lighter fuel, that’s how awful this stuff is) so we downed them and had some food, plenty of cocktails and lots of interesting conversation. The girls disappeared for a while to try and get some cash out so I was left with all the lads which was a hilarious half hour.

Once the girls came back, we paid our bill and then headed to Utopia, which was definitely getting into its ‘Groovy by night’ scene. Awesome tunes, packed bar, good and cheap cocktails and great mix of people, plus this place also has a volleyball court! We plonked ourselves on the lounge beds on the floor once we’d gotten our drinks and had about an hour and a half til curfew, so we spent the time chatting, drinking and singing along to songs. During this singing session, I bonded with a girl sat with a group across from us called Tanya, from London. She properly reminded me of Lauren from Uni! My group went off to play some foosball and so I joined this group for the remainder of the evening. They were awesome people and we all got along really well. Jesse the American guy kept coming back to join me and kept telling me how amazing I was as he’d never seen a girl this sociable on any of his travels (he’d been out 6 months or so), and thought I was inspiring and that more girls should be this welcoming and lovely – bless his cotton socks! I obviously agreed with everything he said, because yea, I’m awesome! Lol! He’d never seen a girl that could meet so many people in the space of minutes and get along with them like they were friends from home, apparently all the girls he’d met were bitchy, didn’t wanna mix with other people etc.

Tanya and I went to the bar to get some more drinks, being short changed again – the guys behind the bar had a habit of not giving you back the correct change, or in fact any change at all! When who appeared out of the throng of drunk backpackers? DEVYN!! The girl I’d met on my 3 days with the elephants in Chiang Mai! We knew we’d both be in Laos at the same time but I didn’t realise she had arrived that day in Luang Prabang with her slow-boat gang. So we chatted for a while and then curfew happened – everywhere shuts down in Laos at 11.30pm. So where do you go after? The BOWLING ALLEY, as it’s the only place open with alcohol past curfew. My group had already left by the time we managed to leave so I took a tuktuk with Tanya and her group, where we had a Spice Girl marathon until we arrived at the bowling alley...which looked like a skanky London community centre! Haha. So in we went and we were instantly met by tons of backpackers, beer in hands, trying to drunken-bowl.

Found my group and so we joined that lane but we didn’t really participate in the bowling, so much as the drinking! I had a couple of goes but missed completely, and instead just spent the time flitting from group to group, including Devyn and her group, while Jesse kept repeating how awesome I was, ok man, I get it! Lol. I met Anastasia and Bo, the couple from Essex I’d met on the slow boat yesterday, just as they were leaving so we didn’t chat long. Then around 1am, Tanya and her group left because they had to be up at 9am for the Kuang Si Waterfalls. We stayed til close which was 3am, but during this time I’d found a group of locals who worked at Laos Laos Gardens and was chatting and drinking with them for the rest of the time (you can imagine what Jesse had to say about THAT, his head was practically spinning with amazement) So I made Jesse join us and we had several shots of Laos Laos Whiskey.

Upon closing time, we took a tuk tuk back to town with the locals, Jesse and Steve. Sat on a bench outside Laos Laos Gardens for a while before heading back to the hostel, Steve for some reason went the complete opposite direction but he seemed to want to be left to it, so we did. I like the nice girl I am, tried to walk Jesse home as he wasn’t sure where he lived, but upon realising he was on the other side of town on the Mekong side, and didn’t have a clue what it was called, I thought sod that, and dragged him back to Spicey’s on the back of a moped so he could stay in our dorm room until he figured it out or could get in contact with James, his friend.

When I arrived back I found Lucy in tears and when asking her what had happened she replied that she thought Robyn was mad with her but she was only looking out for her, she wouldn’t let Lucy help her. So I said, well, what happened...turns out in the darkness of our room and in drunkness, Robyn had asked her for some toothpaste, Lucy found what she thought was toothpaste and chucked it to her, Robyn put it in her mouth, tasted funny, turned the light was antiseptic cream!! Haha.

So bless her Lucy was really worried she might die (everything is over-exaggerated when drunk), I just told her if your body doesn’t like something it will tell you (namely make you sick), so as long as she didn’t swallow heaps of the stuff she’d be fine, just keep drinking water etc. So Lucy asked me to check on Robyn, which I did, she was still awake and breathing! Jesse stayed in our room until at some point he must have realised where he lived or got in contact with James, as he was nowhere to be found...however he’d forgotten his flip flops! And then we all went to bed.

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