Monday, 12 November 2012

Freewheelin’ in S.E.A - Day 11: Waking up dead

I woke up fucked at 8.30am, we got showered and ate, then the six of us hired a boat to take us to Don Khong, which is the largest of the 4000 islands (the smallest of which I suspect I’d be unable to stand on). It was a two hour boat ride upstream and the sun was out in full force, burning our battered brain-boxes. Rachael was telling me about how her third of a cookie made her trip, and as I watched her lips moving with a blank mind, I realised that mine hadn’t fully worn off. It was still lingering around my temple of doom, slowing down everything in front of me. To remedy this, I decided to smoke some medicine, which funnily enough worked a charm, levelling me out to a more relaxed state, and feeling lean, I leaned on the side of the boat in silence for the remainder of the journey. Ryan was clearly still suffering the effects too, laid back on the deck with his eyes closed and his hand on his head for what seemed like a good 40 minutes. We got off the boat and swiftly realised that although maybe the biggest, Don(key) K(h)ong was a lot less developed than the others. After a short walk and a spot of lunch at one of the two restaurants on offer, we returned back to the boat feeling bemused. We asked the little old boat man to take us down to Don Khon, which is like Don Khong, but minus a G. I spent the next hour and a half laid on the front of the boat with the sun blazing down upon my browning body, writing a couple of new poems and recording the sounds of the waves hitting the boat as we drifted past island after island, some with just a single tree, others looking big enough for a good party, and some almost non-existent. I could feel my soul re-synching itself with the Earth, increasing the inner peace that big city life seems to stifle at times. I was happy. When out and about making new friends, and travelling from place to place, you forget the importance of having some alone time. Then you get some and realise what you’ve been missing, however, have too much and you’ll end up desperate for a conversation with anyone other than your inner monologue. You have to find the happy medium within Everything, perhaps it’s half a cookie…

We disembarked at Don Khon, and ultimately regretted staying on the nearby Don Det, as the energy and vibe of the place seemed a lot lighter and nicer. It was kind of like the grown-ups version of Don Det, which was more of a haven for twenty-something stoners with no money, and nothing to do for a month. We were told later that it was more expensive on Don Khon, which made sense, so it was probably better that we were grouped in with the exact people I’d just described, which is pretty much what we are anyway, minus the month. The boat dropped us back at Don Det just as darkness was descending on the Mekong river. I took a shower, then went out on a mission for a couple cartons of Honghua cigarettes, some cheap, tasty smokes in an old fashioned, yellow, soft packet. They worked out to about 40p per twenty deck, which is nineteen times less than you’d pay in the U.K. BOOM! I also bought a litre of Lion King Whiskey, which actually tastes like a decent quality rum and only costs 10000 Kip (£1) a bottle. I could see why all the broke stoners came to Laos.

I went back to Little Eden to do some writing, but ended up speaking on the phone to Sarah, who was on her lunch break back in London’s west end. After about forty minutes, my dinner arrived and it was as beautiful as I remembered it from two days earlier, a catfish steak in white wine and mustard sauce. I asked the owner for the recipe and he obliged me, taking me in the kitchen to chat with the chef, who I gave my compliments to, of course. Ryan and Marie popped out for a few minutes and joined me, but said they were just going to watch a film and chill in their room. I was somewhat envious, I wanted to do exactly that but with Sarah. Instead, I rounded up the girls who were in a nearby restaurant, and we returned to our deck with a bag full of snacks and smoked a few jazz cigarettes before going to bed around midnight. We had an early start the following day, kayaking to the Cambodian border, then heading to Siem Reap.

No comments:

Post a Comment