Monday, July 20, 2009


Uh, can I go home yet?

When I left the blog sphere the bus that I had planned to catch to Udon Thani (30 minutes from Vientiane) had been in an accident, and the ride had been cancelled. So I bought a ticket on a much nicer bus at the same price, for a 7:30 P.M. trip. That would have put me in Vientiane around 9:00 A.M. Would have been PERFECT.

Yeah, well I screwed that one up pretty good. I got to the bus station around 7:15, only to realize that I had left my passport in the apartment. I had changed pants at the last moment, since my Khakis are more comfortable than my blue trousers. The thing about my blue trousers, though, is that THEY HAD MY PASSPORT IN THEM.

So I found a taxi driver who agreed to rush me from the bus station to my apartment and back to the apartment, for a fairly reasonable price, surprisingly. But when I got back to the bus station, two minutes before 8 (MAGICALLY! WE BARELY HIT A RED LIGHT! WE SPED THROUGH THE CHIANG MAI HIGHWAY NIGHT!) the last ticket for the 8 o'clock bus had been sold.

Visa limitations (i.e. my visa expired today) meant that I had to move toward the border or else I would be scrizzewed. What I should have done: gone home. Gone to sleep. Taken a nice 4 hour bus ride to Burma, extend my visa 15 days, head into Laos the following week.

What I did instead: got on an overnight bus to Bangkok. Planned out my trip: arrive in Bangkok abt. 5:30. Arrive in Udon Thani at ??? o'clock. Arrive in Laos at ??? o'clock.

It turns out those question marks represent much higher numbers than I had anticipated, Bob Barker.

I arrived in Thailand at 6, as planned. The movie on the bus was, no joke, She's the Man. I cannot escape my ironic American past.

I got a 7 A.M. bus for Udon Thani. The man at the bus station said that it was about a five hour bus ride. Perfect! That would give me plenty of time to submit my visa, sleep for a night in Laos, and head back tomorrow afternoon!

Well, I think the bus station prognosticator meant that the bus would arrive in Udon Thani at 5 P.M., because that is exactly what happened. After a solid bit of confusion, I found an agency who got my papers together and drove me across the border and found me the rankest guesthouse in Southeast Asia.

Okay, that's not true. There are ranker. But the bath tub does appear to be a bucket with a ladle in it.

There is a lot of confusion here right now. No, that's too general: I'm so confused. It is unclear whether or not the Thai Embassy will be able to process my visa change request in one day. I might have to stay another night. In which case I will miss the class that I already rescheduled to Wednesday. I am already missing class Tuesday, which I had not planned on doing.

But ah, what is it, Mr. Robert Burns? The best laid plans of mice and men/Oft go awry?

How about the worst laid plans? Can't I get some sort of inverse reaction: Worst laid plans often going great! Felicity! Serendipity! John Cusack films!

I think my time at the Internet cafe is almost up. I almost had a heart attack when the man at the counter said that one hour cost 15,000 Lao Kip. Turns out that translates to 25 Baht/hour. Or 80 cents, stateside friends.

This is a good figure. My money is going bye bye bye bye by the wayside.

I cannot wait for this adventure to be over. I am going to get a massage/drunk.

I've been saying that a lot lately.

Where the Burger King

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