Its been a month since i arrived and biked here in Vientiane. How does it feel like to live here? Hmmm, coming from the outskirts of Batangas Philippines, living in a relax town is nothing new except for the language and cultural differences. More so, the food, but hey prior to moving here I was dwelling in Bangkok so food is almost the same but not comparible with the number of varieties Thailand has to offer. Most people who has lived there would probably tell the same thing. I will not lie that I miss the hustle and bustle of Bangkok city but of course cannot beat how I’m missing my Family especially my son in my home town.
I can vividly remember a year ago, Laos was already a planned place for me to try although it was never the first option when I was dreaming of leaving abroad like most of us Filipinos do. I have to say that my brothers for sure don’t agree with this thinking but I had to insist. For me leaving outside don’t just mean earning money even tho it plays a major role but it also points down to the curious and adventurous spirit of the one writing. I know I can sound like too selfish to do this given that I have a child back home, with the fact that I always say I miss them so much. Well it is just natural and inevitable to feel this when youre away but I think that having a child is not too big of a big wall to not try out other places and find what you really want in life. I couldn’t thank my mama and papa enough for supporting me. I owe them a lot. (insert a smiling and weeping icon here) But wouldn’t it be nice to tell him later my stories and inspire him to try the same. I don’t plan to be away from him for a long time anyway. And from the overly used fact phrase “you only live once” that I couldn’t agree more, here I am.
Going back to how I got here in Vientiane. It was 2013 when a girl friend and high school classmate invited us to try Laos as she was already working and living here for a year. I had to say yes for the above mentioned reasons.
Having a hype surroundings for months in Thailand, I was a bit uptight and wary when i arrived here to be honest. Amazed of the fact that it doesn’t have a regular public transportation like the jeepney’s back home or the train in Bangkok, it was a bit hard to really walk around and see places. Well bike is enough and sure a big help except when raining.
I seldom go out with my friends making me seem like a loner but I am not actually like that. Guess I’m torn between loving privacy after work and having a tight budget too. Have I already mentioned that it is actually a little expensive in here. They don’t have coins to begin with. Cant tell really if its a nice thing so you wont have a heavy pocket or a bad thing because numismatists (coin collectors) cant be handed with some.
So whats with Vientiane? Surprise! I have not actually roamed enough yet because when I arrived it was already start of the work for me. Days of work are until Saturdays and Sunday is pretty much occupied running errands. Also i think i still have time later to check what’s in here. So let me tell some of the places I’ve tried sneaking. 1st on the list is the Patuxay! Also known as the Victory Gate dedicated to brave Laotian people who fought for their independence from the French. It resembles the Arc de Triomphe of Paris.(in my wish list) Good place to run though, and youll just see people taking photographs. 2nd thing would be the Pha That Luang, a large Buddhist stupa, this is where i have my bike chain broken and surprised that a chopstick helped me fix it. (smirk). Third would be the Mekong river, the 7th longest in Asia as they say. At night near the Mekong river are markets full of RTW stores which sells the ever famous lao traditional skirt,nice girly tops, souvenirs, little restaurants and nice walk way to sight the lights coming from the houses in Thailand on the other side but you cant of course just cross. Vientiane is situated very near the border of Thailand by the way.
Lao are known to be very relaxed and laid back. No rushing of things that’s it. So morning runs are good as there are not much people around and biking is great as well as there is no traffic during the weekends. But mind you that you will see the insignificance of the traffic light most of the times here in Vientiane. Have seen almost everyday some drivers beating the red light when they are probably bored to just stare at the stop light. During weekday mornings it is a pure mess of cars and motorbikes finding their own way to get out of the tangled traffic. Have I mentioned about lao skirt too? Girls, well most of them wears the skirt everyday. They wear it as office uniforms, for every day life, for when they need to go to market, they just wear it e_ve_ry_day! Unlike in some countries where they only wear their traditional dresses/costumes on special occasions, here it is worn every day. Beautiful tho but its a bit hot actually. Motorbike is the means of transportation for everyone, but lemme tell you that most household in the center owns a car too.
It is always not as easy as it seems to be living away from family and the people you are most comfortable to be with but having to experience such is great reason to be thankful.
I still have much to share later. Ciao for now…
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Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
My title again is a fail. This is not really a report but Im just gonna be sharing photos of the things here. I was once asked by a friend of why i take photos of almost everything( i might have annoyed him one time 😉 ), i answered that it is because my memory is so poor even tho the capacity of a human brain is in between 3 or 1000 TB terabytes mine is just probably half of it, i cant store too much data so i have to take photos to tell stories.
I know lots of blogs have been written about the things and what to see here in BKK, but i still dare write/share to you.
So with my almost half an hour travel everyday to the central business district from home using either by BTS, Airport link, boat, bus,car taxi or motorbike taxi (yes i have 6 means to travel to work, hallelujah!) I will always have to meet the food stalls in every corner of the street. One can’t have the excuse of getting hungry in here. Food is amazingly cheap too, well ofcourse im talking about the authentic thai food coz there are fancy restaurants around aswell that can be pricey. Thailand is food heaven. That’s what i think of first before beautiful ladies comes in mind. (wink wink)
35Bath noodles. Sorry until now i dont know what it is called. This is my personal favorite. They have lots of noodles to choose from. Picture can be deceiving, you think you wont be full from a bowl? Have some.
Som tam my not so fav thai papaya salad. You eat everything raw, even crablets that comes with it, you eat raw. Ingredients can be sitaw(string beans), chili, papaya, chili, cabbage,chili, eggplant, chili, fish sause,chili, lime, chili, tomatoes,chili, did i forget to mentioned chili? haha it is because Thai food is all about chili. 🙂 you have the option to tell them mai pet(not too hot) but still taste hot tho so better tell them not to put chili sometimes. Costs 30bath in the streets. 🙂
That leafy thing i thought was a Mimosa pudica(makahiya) facinated that they eat it here and how they manage to be too patient to take the torns out but thanks to my thai friend Jen it is actually called pak ka set(dont know how to really spell it). Look at how this two looks the same.(below)
I smiled the first day i saw a group of students with a paper clip on their belt, i thought it was some sort of sorority thing for those girls. Amazing that it was such a trend. Its a humble way to pin the strap of their belt or skirt tho. 🙂
Mobile bars are only eye catching for me because they come in different sizes and shapes (lol as i type) I seriously want to say that they are eye catchy coz they are too colorful and artistic, volkswagen turned bars, you will see drunken farangs (ok that is harsh) better say drinking farangs right next to it(which makes it more eye catching). Have not tried drinking on one yet. This street is where I’ve seen most mobile bars so far. Since Soi 11 was mentioned i will also add that it is one of those “farang streets” they have. Bkk receives too many tourist giving it diversity and other more interesting streets. (soi is street and farang is foreigner)
Alright. Thats it for now, i have other interesting encounters but will save for later( honestly run out of words and will go back to work). I will update later. Happy Holidays and may we all have a great 2014 ahead. Cheers! x
Exactly a month and half since i arrived here in Bangkok. So how was it? the question that most of my friends and family even those whom i just met and acquainted here would ask( well yeah its normal for them to ask of that question though from the fact that im fresh off the boat). City of angels has been good to me from the very first day i set foot in here and that i have to be grateful. Going back to the thought of my title, Holiday Blues! My melodramatic ego has been knocking on my door recently as much as how id like not to entertain him, he knows exactly when to visit. Well it has been proved that this time of the year is really when most people are agitated or feeling down and out. Which is kinda ironic for what it should all be about. And in my case i could associate the situation that im away from the closest and dearest people to me this Holiday, aside from all the other factors. Is it inevitable not to miss home? OFCOURSE! Specially that it is my first out of the country celebration of the Holidays. Unlike in the Philippines where you can feel the Christmas spirit in as early as September, yeah you read it right for those unaware, here, they ain’t too gaudy as how it is back home. In the Philippines they could start playing Christmas songs on the first day of September and you’ll find Christmas decors and stuff being sold in the mall or market. Well these explains the difference of our culture that we have to respect and need not to compare.
So how am I fighting the blues? There can be tons of ways as they say. Simply going out with friends, watching movie, too many as long as you know how to enjoy yourself. But as for me who dont really have that much buddies yet, since i work 9 hours a day 5 days a week (could be more actually) staying in the office more than the required time is one. Sitting in front of the computer acting like I’m doing anything worthy but I’m actually just reading stuff online,ok ok social media that i know i need not to enumerate, just killing time and waiting for the rush hour to cease as well. Second is people watching at the park and inhaling fresher air if it is really fresh since it still lies within the concrete juggle of the central business district is a fun way too. One thing actually that i like here in Bangkok is that they have parks scattered all around the place so there’s no excuse not to visit one. I know some will agree that just being outside fizzles out the gloom, haha i don’t want to sound like too melodramatic in here though. Third would be just going out to any place of interest. And lastly for now,( i told you there are tons of ways but these are my ways as of writing ) is meditating with a pen! Have i been influenced by the people i watch meditating in the park? Nope. I have always wanted to write but didn’t have the courage and time to do so and realizing that i am able to do it now is extremely delightful so holiday blues or even simply Bangkok blues shouldn’t be an issue at all.
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln