Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween inThailand...of course!

In my last blog, I was taking it easy and trying to let my wounds heal up, which I am still doing...but I did take a pause to celebrate Halloween of course! Mick and I decided, what better way to celebrate Halloween than to make fun of ourselves, plus, it was pretty darn cost effective!

You see, in Thailand, many many Farang (foreigners) get injured in motorbike accidents. 5 a day just in the 3,000 person town of Pai, so needless to say, we were quite a spectacle with bandages wrapped all around us. Everyone was very sympathetic to our condition, but it got old after the first day having to tell the story of the magically appearing speed bump! We thought the best way to combat the comments would be to play it up a bit. Mick had a set of paints in his bag so we did up the bandages with some "blood" (we also added one around our heads for dramatic irony!) and made signs to hang from our shirts that had a motorbike with a circle and line drawn through it. We accessorised the sign by writing Farang in both English and Thai so that everyone would be able to read it. As soon as we walked in to the Halloween party at the nearby bar, everyone was laughing! There was one thing that we didn't calculate however...the fact that no one believed that our wounds were real! After about 3 slaps on my open wounds, we decided that it would be best if we told everyone that they were real (it started to get really painful). The pain paid off though, because, surprise surprise, we won the costume contest! One bottle of 100 Pipers Whiskey sure helped to ease the pain. One of the judges had slapped me twice because he didn't believe me, so that might have helped in the win as well!

The next day, we were feeling a bit better and decided to chill in Pai for another day. We decided against the Raiki due to the fact that it was both pretty expensive and time consuming and after having spent 5 days in one spot, it was time to move on. On our last day in Pai, we felt like celebrities! Everyone remembered us from the night before and was calling us "costume champions"! It was great to spend some time in a beautiful place and really get to know the locals. They really accepted us and appreciated our humor in making fun of ourselves. It made for a pretty memorable time!

I was originally planning on going South to the beaches by today, but after careful reassessment, I've decided that I will stay North for a bit longer until I heal up for a couple of reasons. 1:I can't swim, and being at all those white sand crystal clear beaches would be shear torture. 2: It's still raining there and again, can't get the dressings wet 3: I've been told by so many other travelers that Laos is the place to be, and that Southern Thailand is just another huge tourist trap. There is so much to explore in Northern Laos, and some really good environmentally friendly trekking here, so I decided this would be a better option. I should be all healed up by Tuesday, and then the trekking shall begin.

Crossing the border from Thailand to Laos was quite interesting. You simply jump on a ferry across the Mekong River (about 1/4 mile) and you're in a different country! Got to buy your visas, and you're in! That's it! I must admit I felt kind of embarrassed checking into the country with an American Passport after the tragedy we caused this beautiful country during the Vietnam War. Laos was the most heavily bombed country in the world, and they were neutral. I think I'll tell everyone I'm Canadian from here on out (which is never a bad idea, except when someone tries to speak French to you and you don't understand!)

Right now I am typing on a computer located in the most remote town I've been to yet called Luang Nam Tah which is in Northeastern Laos. 35,000 people live here, but I'll be damned if I know where they all are! Heck, all 12 people from the bus-ride here got into the same Sangtheaw (truck-taxi) along with luggage and 2 chickens!

More in a few days kids! I love you all!