Sabaidee (sabaidì)

The thing with travelling is that every time you go somewhere you place a bet.
You make a guess that a specific country or town is worth your money and most importantly your time more than somewhere else.
Back in the days when I used to be an avid reader and was competing with Alfo on who was reading the nicest books, I used to think in the same way of my reading time.
Because just as you can’t possibly read all the books that are out there, you also can’t go everywhere (and I mean everywhere!).
I am leaving Luang Prabang tomorrow (with a heavy heart) for Vientiane, with an early bus and that is because I am betting that Vientiane will be another beautiful surprise.
But deciding to skip Sapa in Vietnam and go straight to Hanoi it is another bet, this time over the days I need to “leave” for the Cambodian Angkor Wat.
In the end I decided to book the day bus, as everyone says that the roads in Laos are terrible and the ride will be extremely bumpy. Since I won’t be able to sleep, I might as well enjoy the view in the daylight -I told myself.
Booking the bus was quite an adventure as the travel agencies in town don’t have the full timetable and the guy at my hotel reception only smiles but cannot help me (doesn’t understand much English, this is actually irritating to some extent).
The trek this morning was very nice and the guide from White Elephant Adventures was very chatty and put us all in good spirit, despite the fatigue.
We walked through some Khmu villages, saw lots of kids everywhere playing outside and arrived at the Kuang-Si waterfall and wow-ed together in a chorus.
I trekked with a Belgian couple, Singapore expats, and I really enjoyed their company. We talked about all the places we have been in a race of who is being to the coolest. I listed the biking in Taiwan, Iran, Patagonia and the long drive in South africa but had to drag Sam into this as I often do when someone names a really cool place and I haven’t been but Sam has. So I just say what I know about the given place and add that I haven’t been, but Sam has.
I don’t know why I do that. I think it is a bit like Alfonso talks about me when I am not around (or so I think) telling everyone about his super hero friend who has been everywhere and is brave enough to live in Germany, at the moment.
Steph and Vince have not only travelled but also lived everywhere and I just wanted to call Sam to tell him that we should do the same, a couple of years here a couple of years there.
Why am I leaving Luang Prabang again?
I went for a last walk at the night market, the Mekong riverside and the Ratsavong Road and breathed deeply, partly to let it all come into myself, partly to exercise the mindfulness and the now that the Buddhist monk taught us the other day in Chiang Mai.
I am leaving because I bet that Vientiane has a surprise for me, it will make me wow once again.

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