Sunday, November 20, 2005


I tried to find a room with a window, but they seem in short supply in Vientiane. Not exactly the "Paris of the East" judging by the state of the roads, open sewers and dust!
There seem to be a lot of roads being re-surfaced when I was there, or perhaps just being surfaced. This consists of one truck schlooping tar down, followed immediately by another with guys shovelling stones and then by a road-roller. Instant road!

Although one day, they had flattened the mud road and it rained. The next day I saw a truck halfway inside the road, it had sunk. Vientiane seems more like a small town, rather than a capital city. The local English paper runs to about 10 pages. Apparently the local Vientiane's eat almost a kilo of rice a day. A lot of rice!

I had a look around a few of the temples in town. One had a ridiculous number of buddhas in it!

I went along to see Laos play a friendly against a league team from Thailand, Bangkok Bank. Unfortunately they lost 3-1, but they did score the best goal, a thumping volley into the corner of the goal. The kick-off was a bit late, but after the game I went across the road to the Laos Cultural Centre to see some "Jodaiko" (Japanese for passionate drumming). It was good, as the drummer started off with a giant drum and a log for a drumstick! The crowd was funny as the all clapped wildly when he hits the drum. None of this being quiet during the performance! Then he did a little drumming number starting with a simple rythmn, and repeating with embelishments, until the rhythmn is stuck in your head. Next up, another drummer come on, to beat the other side of the drum. Started off gently, prancing about playful and then BANG! they start beating the crap out of the drum, almost like a martial art.

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