We are now in Thailand. We had planned to mooch round the Thousand Islands in Laos but I have a stinking cold with shovel loads of green snot oozing out of my snout. I am breathing hebbily through my mouth and I say hebbily because that is how  I talk at the moment. And every 10 minutes I have to blow hard or choke on the filthy stuff. I am knackered, a mass of aches and surrounded by sticky crumpled tissues containing gruesome monstrosities. Today something came out that was grey and I swear it had tentacles. I can feel a void in my skull where it used to be.

Here’s what the survival doctor has to say on thick green mucas. This is a useful site for info when help is not on the way. Their tagline not mine!

Any how Savanakhet, (see above),  for all its crumbling charm is no place for a sick lady so we have crossed the Mekong, left Laos behind and are now enjoying the delights of Mukhadan, Thailand. Rather we are enjoying the delights of the blandest of hotel rooms. The hotel is on the outskirts of town overlooking the shopping center. It is a 15 minute walk from the bus station and about as far as I could manage. It is like a superior travel lodge. Its lovely, new, clean, has air-con the biggest softest bed ever and a great shower. I cannot deal with anything ethnic, authentic or backpacker at the moment. Also, due to its completely soulless location, it is very cheap. My plan is to lie here for a couple of days and see what happens to the snot flow. Will give you detailed updates…

We were sorry to miss the Thousand Islands but it was 5 hours there 5 hours back and the  weather was on the turn…. maybe not such bad luck. And we heard there were nice things to do here in Mukhadan. And even if we don’t find anything we have been on the go since Kazakhstan, freezing in Mongolia, jostled in China and sweating in Laos – slowing things down might be a good thing.

And there is always the shopping center. It is ages since we have been anywhere that shiny. Really crossing the river has meant stepping back into the bright lights of the capitalist world. For sure China has modern shops, KFCs even, but they are always surrounded by a hive a teeny retail outlets and temporary stalls selling fried pigs heads and pickled snakes. Plus a million people pushing past you, snatching at the snacks and spitting in the doorway. Laos as far as I can tell doesn’t have any shopping centers or American fast food outlets. Certainly not the places we were. Mongolia? Ha! Ditto Kazakhstan. And, despite all these countries ditching the more inconvenient aspects of communism, (like the restrictions on unbridled personal wealth for a limited few),  an ascetic, socialist aura still lingers like a disapproving aunt who won’t join in but won’t go home either.

Don’t get me wrong, I love those countries and personally I think the aunt has a lot to offer. I hope the old besom sticks around…. but not when I am ill. When I am ill I want bland and the capitalist shopping center certainly provides that. It is big, modern, quiet and peaceful. Everyday we visit the Big C supermarket. Most stuff is plastic packed so we don’t buy. Rather we wander round marveling like a couple of hicks from the sticks! Grubby hicks at that. We are extremely travel stained and need to get our clothes washed.

On that note I will go get a shower

Later Gators

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