“Come here, monkey!”
But I was told, "Don't touch him because he could be carrying diseases."
One of them was rummaging through the garbage as we walked along the bridge toward Angkor Wat, which is considered the largest religious monument in the world.
We got there just as the sun was rising over its peek. Mao’s girlfriend lent me her scarf because my neck was burning. Here was me just casually leaning against a wall…
I'm glad I finally got to see Angkor Wat because the next day I was suppose to leave Cambodia.
In the morning a tuk tuk driver rolled up and asked, "Are you going to Laos?"
He then asked for my ticket.
I told him I threw it out.
He said I wasn't allowed to go without it and then drove off.
I rummaged through my stuff hoping to find it and in the last pocket of the last pants I shoved my hand into I pulled out the ticket as the early morning light flickered off of the crinkled paper.
I informed the receptionist of the hostel that I found it!
But then she looked worriedly at the ticket as she informed me the date was for yesterday!
I told her it had to be a mistake I specifically asked for today since today is when my visa expires! I must leave the country today!
She called the number on the ticket for me and after a few minutes on the phone, with me pleading in the background, she said, "Okay, they are sending a driver to pick you up."
A few minutes later a guy on a motorbike rolled up and said, “Get on! The bus is waiting!"
I pulled my luggage in-between our compressed bodies as we sped off and weaved in and out of traffic.
When we caught up to the mini bus (more like a van) it was parked on the side of the road. The passengers looked worried and confused. They said they had been driving around in a circle. I told them not to worry, I am here now.
I wouldn’t be the only person to cause delay on our journey to Laos.
Along the way we picked up multiple locals and goods, such as wood and bags of rice (or as I pondered, cocaine?).
Nothing builds cultural understanding like being squeezed together in a hot van.
We later got onto a bigger bus, which looked like it had been in use since the 1970s. A quarter of the driver’s windshield was shattered and throughout the journey the bus would be forced to swerve around cows, dogs, donkeys, and geese.
When we got to the border we were instructed to pay a guy in a restaurant. Some Australians refused to pay him because they thought it was a fraud and they rather take their chances with border control. The rest of us went with the guy in the restaurant because the information he told us seemed to jive with what we read on the internet.
We then got into another van and finally a boat (more like a canoe).
The nighttime canoe ride to the island was quite serene.
As I was enjoying the view, I turned my head to see a boat coming full speed at us!
Our driver yelled out at him in what I imagine were Laos curse words, and at the last minute the oncoming boat jerked away.
When we got ashore the boat driver informed us that we could go to a nearby hostel that's owned by his friend.
And like helpless sheep we followed his instructions. Fortunately for us it was actually nice. I got my own room on the water with a hammock on the porch for roughly $4 a day.
I then third-wheeled my week there with a young Israeli couple who I met on the day before's journey.
I would do work for a few hours before they awoke and then we would get lunch together and walk around the island talking about everything under the sun.
Apparently there are thorns in a duck penis?
My Israeli friend informed me that penis facts are always a great ice breaker.
We stayed on the island for a week before getting a night-bus to the capital of Laos, Vientiane.
When I stepped onto the bus I was horrified to discover a teenage asian boy sleeping in my bed. This was definitely not how I imagined my night going.
Apparently the ticket was only for half a bed.
My friends smiled from across the isle as they snuggled up. I joked that they may wake up with me in-between them.
When we finally arrived to Vientiane, my English female friend who I had prior excursions with in Cambodia was patiently waiting. I had directed her to scope out the terrain and make sure the city was set for my arrival.
We then rented a scooter and saw the Buddha Park.
I also dragged her along with me to the U.S. embassy so that I could apply for a new U.S. passport, but not before stopping to take a badass photo of me on the motorbike...
My Israeli friends left, then my English friend, and so for the past 2 weeks I’ve been here alone.
People ask me if I get lonely?
People are a welcomed distraction from my work, but nonetheless they are a distraction. If I do find myself becoming lonely it isn’t hard for me to meet people. Hostels and co-working spaces are great places to meet people. And every night I get solicited by at least one prostitute so one could always go down that route.
Not that I have. I feel like it is fundamentally wrong for me to pay for sex when clearly they should be paying me. It's an option I’m keeping open for myself if I don’t start to make a money with Live to Challenge ;)
On one of my nightly walks in the park, a solider walked up to me with an AK strapped to his back, and told me to open up my backpack. I thought he was going to rob me. He pointed to a pile of rubble, which he seemed to believe I stole something from. As he and his partner discussed the situation I started to slowly backpedal as I said, “Thank you. Have a good night. Bye”
A few minutes later they passed me by on a motorbike. They looked like they were slowing down to make a U-Turn so I immediately hopped over the guard rail and ran as fast as I could through the park.
Any questions or comments? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you :)
My YouTube videos this month…