12 Days of Laos cont.

12 Days of Laos cont.

Day 7: NO INTERNET!

I ran out of internet on my iPad and the internet in Laos is a prepaid system. You buy a certain amount of data whenever you need it. It's also super cheap. It's a dollar for 5GB of data. So this was the first time I've been without internet for one whole day. 

I headed to Vientiane to go shopping with my aunt, Tavanh. I use to hate shopping with my mom in Laos whenever I went because it was just me waiting for her, but this time I was content with just people-watching and waiting for my aunt. Since I was without my mom, I actually took the effort to listen and try to learn the language. I think that was the reason why I was content with a shopping trip. Another reason is because I've been to Laos so often, so I didn't feel the want to explore and I think that was why I was impatient with shopping in Vientiane with my mom in the past. I also wasn't with my mom, and I always have very little patience with my mom. 

Since I'm in Laos alone with family who know little english and without a parent to translate, everyday was actually mentally exhausting. My brain was constantly trying to make out the words and then trying to structure a sentence without making a fool of myself. I literally said one thing wrong and my grandmother didn't let me live after that. Always bringing it up to anyone and never missing the chance to make fun of me. I'm fluent in listening but sufficient in speaking, and I definitely can't read Lao. 

DAY 8: CUTENESS OVERLOAD!

Did I mention that this trip was chill, because this day was the epitome of chill! Earlier in the trip I had a funny dream where I was yelling at an old high school friend. I used that dream as inspiration and I actually wrote an entire film script, granted, it's a short film. This day was the day; I actually completed it. I wrote the script by hand too! Wrote it all down on a notebook. Unheard of, right? I finished the script and headed to my grandparents' house and hung out with the children. I took amazingly adorable pictures of these two brothers. JUST LOOK AT THEIR SMILES! I'm melting from the cuteness. 

 

DAY 9-11: nothing fun happened

Yup, nothing fun happen... except that my cousin won their soccer (futbol) tournament. I missed it actually because I was in Vientiane  that day. Me and my aunt thought we could make back for the soccer game in time but there was TRAFFIC. Yay for industrialization. I wasn't too bummed. I think my family was more bummed out because I wasn't there to take nice pictures for them. Me and Aunt got back to KM 52, and the boys were still at the soccer field probably just finishing up their game, and it was too late for me to try and go there so I ended up getting my nails done. It's probably the best manicure I've ever gotten. My nails looked so good and it was only 30,000 kip, which is 3.75 USD. I missed the game but I got to go to the dinner celebration. Here are the pictures of me and bunch of Lao Boys ready to take a picture with a foreigner.

 

It was a nice dinner because I actually got to converse with my peers and we tried our best to understand each other. I realized I'm better at lao when I got a little bit of alcohol in me, but also the boys were more confident to talk to me and weren't as shy when they got a little alcohol in them. Alcohol definitely helped me because now I'm more confident and I don't really care what people think. My cousin said something really awesome while in conversation. The best thing I've heard come out of a Lao person's mouth during this trip. 

“It doesn’t matter if you speak well as long as the other person understands you” - My Cousin, Jooky Sisaket

 

DAY 12: The Last Day :(

My flight is at Midnight, so I had an entire day with my family. My mom has been begging for pictures from me the whole trip of my grandparents, and every time I was going to take the picture both of them weren't ever home together. It was actual work to get them to take a picture. So on the last day, I finally got them in nice clothes and took their photo. They weren't too happy about that either. They were whiny little babies about it. They couldn't stand still at all, and having their skin touched is a big No No. My grandpa at one point put his arm around my grandma and she push his arm off so fast. I didn't even have time to laugh about it. 

 

Around 4pm, I said bye to my grandparents. I gave them big bear hugs, which they didn't really like, and Tavanh, her son, Awin and I were off to Vientiane to finish my trip with a "bang". At that point, I wish I had showered before leaving my grandparents' house because I knew I was going to sit on a 5 hour flight in my "all day sweaty" clothes. We got to Vientiane, and walked around the night market, Kham Khone. I usually don't like that night market because the vendors just sell stuff from China, but I found a stand that was selling handmade scarfs from Savannakhet, Laos, which is southern Laos. I bought 2! I couldn't resist. They felt great and looked amazing. 

After the night market, the plan was to have a big dinner with my family, but half of them went to eat some where else, so we ate at another place that had live music. At this point, I was sick and tired of Lao food. I get enough of it back in Minnesota because my mom always cooks it, so you know what I ordered: French Fries. I was craving those things so hard. I destroyed my plate. I also ordered a pitcher of mojito because I was sick of beer. JUST SICK OF IT! 

This final dinner was probably the best meal I had the whole two weeks, but from experience the last meal has been always the best meal. It was time to head to the airport and my cousins met up with me at the airport to send me off. I hugged everyone goodbye, and you know when you hug someone that hasn't really hugged anyone before... yea that was what it was like hugging my family goodbye. It was awkward for them but I basked in their awkwardness and loved it. It's fun to make other people uncomfortable. The only person that actually squeezed me nicely was my cousin Bee. I love him. He was always attached to me when growing up, so it wasn't weird that he would be like that. He's also a momma's boy, so yea it was probably wasn't out of character for him. 

Left to Right: Ken, Bin, Bee, me and Jooky

Left to Right: Ken, Bin, Bee, me and Jooky

Then I head upstairs and approached the exit visa counter, I turn around one last time to wave goodbye to my cousins and that was it. I board my plane at midnight and back home I go. 

I told my aunt, if grandpa dies, I'll be back for the funeral but other than that I'll be back in 3 years. They weren't happy about the 3 years being away. So I'll probably be back to Laos next year. I think I'll make this a yearly thing. 

My First Lao Buddhist Funeral Experience

My First Lao Buddhist Funeral Experience

12 Day of Laos

12 Day of Laos