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…