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Spooky Nam Noen

Written on: Tuesday February 26th, 2008

A journal entry from: See you next year!

The route we wanted to take from Phonsavan is not much travelled yet, and we prepared for some serious "off-the-beaten track stuff". It would start with the local bus from Phonsavan, the easiest part (until now we have only taken local buses, and they have all been OK ). But some guy in a luxurious minivan had heard we wanted to go that way, and since he had to go in that direction to pick up a tour group somewhere, he offered us a lift for the same price as the bus. So, our "difficult journey" started with 3 hours in a private air-conditioned minivan with leather reclinable seats. :-) While Roy and I were "philosophizing" why we always seem to be this lucky, the driver stopped in a little village and told us to get off. It was 12 o'clock. With gestures he told us a bus should pass later, so off we went...to find a restaurant.

With no restaurant to be found, we decided to hitch to a bigger village. This was easier said than done, as there seemed to be no traffic going our way at all.

The entire village came out to look at us, well, all the children came, as all parents seemed to be away working in the fields. While waiting for any form of transport going our way, we watched the daily routine of this spooky children village: As hardly any parents seemed to be around, they were constantly kicking and beating each other, someone started crying, an older sibling came and sorted it out by kicking or hitting the first one back, etc. The dogs barked. Meanwhile, our hitch hiking didn't set off, as only one car had passed so far and he had shouted something like "Ba Bung Lang Pra Ha", which could mean: "I am terribly sorry, but I am stopping in this village" or "Fuck off, you scruffy backpackers, I am not letting you in my nice new car". Or anything in between.

However, the second car (or rather truck) that stopped 4 hours later (!) did take us. So in the back of this flatbed, accompanied by a lot of dust and some empty oil barrels we went (leaving the screaming children and their now returning parents behind) to find a bigger village with hopefully at least restaurant.