Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Holiday season in Laos, doh!

A realization about 5 days for the trip to Laos was that rooms were surprisingly hard to come by. A few phone calls, and we managed to find a hotel, but man that was close! As it was, we weren't exactly prompt on booking the tickets (there were a few culprits on this, partially our travel agent, and partially a lot of talk by some members of the group). Needless to say though, even with our lack of planning, we still managed to get all of the main details in order and to the airport. On for the fun part of the trip!

I swear i don't get the heat in my place. The one day the temperature seems right, i discover the window is open...And let me tell you, that window issue is getting worse, coming home (i turned the heat off, given that 5 days out of the country, why not save money, right? or perhaps also save natural resources, since saving money does not seem to be something I have done very well...)

There is snow on the ground in suwon, it is very interesting since there is really none in seoul. Was quite a wake up call to come back to the cold, it was around 85-90 degrees in Laos! After a few days of walking around with t-shirts and shorts, Seoul was a brutal shock. Add to that the red-eye (3.5 hour red-eye), and none of us have been in very good shape today!

The weekend turned into quite a boys weekend, with drinking every night, stories of trouble we all caused as trips (Gabriel won with his stories of flaming soccer balls, paintball guns, etc). We ended up each night at the local bowling alley (all bars closed at midnight, the dance club at 1 am, and then the bowling alley at 3 am). Needless to say, the group made the most of the nights (I called in early at 1 am, 2 am, and 12 am respectively). The last night was due to a desire to see the monks receive alms from the villagers at 6 am. That was not an easy wakeup, especially given that it was still dark!

We had a few airline issues (not finding a name in the system, not giving back the paper ticket to one of our party), and then the usual sorts of negotiations with tuk-tuk drivers. But somehow we ended up getting to where we needed to go, more or less intact. We almost didn't make a few with Gavin climbing on top of the tuk-tuk (this was far more amusing to us than the driver…)

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