Monks on bikes. The best thing ever. Which reminds me. The girls here change into ‘onesies’ at about dusk and scooter around in brightly colored and patterned fleece. Really odd, but nice.
Another thing about boys and girls, and men and women, in Laos is that there are zero public displays of affection. Beyond puberty, not even holding hands. And never ever will you see someone kiss someone else. It’s just bad manners, like looking untidy, no matter how poor
As it happens, I met a French girl and have been travelling with her. (Normally this topic wouldn’t be included in this ride report but it starts to have an unexpected impact on the ride logistics, as you’ll see). She gets a bus from A to B while I ride, then at her destination rents a scooter. Today we head off on Lucinda into the country. Lucinda likes travelling without her panniers once in a while and always when there’s a passenger on the back. Wow she’s a slim bike without her full gear
We went to a deep cave. A few hundred yards before the entrance a kid stops, says “guide” and holds out his hand. We give him the equivalent of about 50 cents as he charges ahead, even though we can see it clearly
And back to Thakhek. This evening we see a two young guys on a scooter brought down by a man on the street below. The scooter crashed, spilling the riders, and the man starts in on the boys with the most violent attack we’ve ever seen. He’s got a 4 or 5 foot piece of wood and it looks like he’s trying to kill them. The difference between hurting and killing is pretty clear, clubbing them full-force relentlessly after they’re unconscious. Fortunately enough people stop him, but most are scared to approach. Over the last few years we’ve seen occasional violence, and I only include this story because it’s such a shocking contrast to their quiet, reserved, shy usual nature