Today it was time to do a bit more carpentry – Laos style – so me and Liz took it in turns to do a bit of work chopping the bamboo for the old man so that it could later be used as flooring. First the man would halve the bamboo down it’s length and then we would make small cuts down the lengths of the round halves of bamboo so that it could then be flattened out. This is quite a precarious job not only because of the size of the machete we were using but also if you hit the bamboo too hard we would cut through the bamboo and it would be no good. I did my best but the old guy – as poorly as he looked – could chop through three bamboo lengths to my one and look away and chat at the same time! He seemed to be enjoying it and although it was hard work, so was I. Every now and again he would look over with a wry smile and a small shake of the head looking at me like I was a child with very little idea of what I was doing and thinking about it I don’t think that he was not too far off the mark! They seem to be able to do anything with a bit of ‘the Ole Bamboo’ here.
We were stopped in our tracks by the weather which once again took a turn for the worse, yet another very heavy downpour. So we retired to the restaurant and I got on the Mac to write up some more notes for this blog. Whilst we were camped out in there some more trekkers arrived and at the same time so did the two guys from the other night’s drinking shenanigans as well.
At this point I tried to keep my head down a bit as the two Laos guys seemed to be able to weave a magical spell that would be sure to lead me astray … lol. One of the walkers, a Dutch girl called Anelise came over and soon struck up a conversation with Liz and myself, the usual bon homie and swapping of travellers stories and useful information which is always good when you want the lowdown on places you want to go to or info about places you should avoid as well.
Then my two new found bestest drinking buddies spotted me and, well it would have been rude not to have a wee snifter of beer with them and, well … one thing led to another and that is why I am writing this log upside down behind the beer cooler!!! Just joking but only partly as the guys joined us and then our two tables were pushed together in order that the party and ensuing messiness could commence! It all began quite sedate and pleasant enough and then it all moved up a gear when we moved on to drinking Lao Lao, which I have also entitled ‘the head mangler’, from this point onwards the mess got even messier. The first bottle was drunk and the two gentlemen, knowing a bit more about these things than we did, made off back home. This did not deter me one jot and I purchased a second bottle, my head obviously needed a wee bit more mangling thought I! I must need my head examining or at least I shall definitely need it examining tomorrow methinks. Well although the rest of the night remains somewhat shrouded in mystery in my mind at least the resulting photos look ok! At some point in the proceedings we all engaged in dancing some classic Lao moves – Juan was showing us how they were all done and we were ‘following’ her lead. Now whilst I seem to remember floating across the dance floor like a young Barishnikov (possibly a made-up Russian ballet dancer) please bear in mind this was through beer goggles and my moves may or may not have been quite as dainty in real (cold sober) life. Lesson to us all, although Lao Lao does make one feel pretty damned invincible at the time it also robs one of any self respect as well.