still in Lao. i like it here. the capital of lao, veintiane is a little bit of a skanky town with not much to do but drink by the river and shoo away tuk tuk drivers. i have found some more jewlery to buy, but am such a penny pincher my anxiety kicks in when i go to hand the cash over for the goods, there are just too many decisions. i've already made some good and bad ones, but it is life and it is money and who really cares...right? i just hope i have some left for INDIA!!!
so lao has been a whirl wind trip, kristina left me this morning to go back to her sight, so i am once again on my own, trying to decied where to go. it is more stressful that you might think, ther are more than just the 4 directions open to me, i can go anywhere! but i am just a stones throw away from thailand, and i am having thoughts of the karen villages i could go visit, hmmmm.
but back to lao. a few days ago we were in a town called van veing, a beautiful vally surrounded by moutains, a small town with quiet people and lots of natuer. we explored caves that people lived in during the 70's (i think) when the USA was bombing the shit out of lao. these caves were huge, and about 257 people lived inside of them to protect temselves from bombs. considering the shit that americans have done to the lao people such a short time ago, they are really friendly and loving.
so we saw several caves and one was an underwater cave, or part underwater. we sat on inner tubes and wore miniture car batteries around our necks and lights strapped to our heads...we looked like the seven dwarfs but bigger and less in number, and riding on inner tubes. this cave was the best, it smelled like the pirates of the carravian ride at disneyland, instant nostalga for my sister. our guide was funny and barked and sang the whole way in to scare away all the ghosts for us. he's only been a tour guide for months and his english was horrid but he was so much fun!
during part of the water cave we had to get out and crawl on our hands an knees through a tunnel, on the other side we had to wade back around to our tubes. kristina was worried about the batteries and the water mixing, but our guide assured us "no die" so we felkt safe. good thing because lucky me sacraficed myself to the river gods and plunged in against my will battery and all. and no "no die" i was fine, although a little bruised and my brand new flip flop took off with the currant! well our faithful guide lept to the rescue and chased it down while kristina fished me out of the river. i figured someone had to slip so good thing it was me.
later we floated in tubes back to our guesthouse, about 3 hours on the river. it was over run with people selling beer, floating bars, and places to get out, drink, and jump off of really high platforms into the water. it looked like fun and appealed to my sense of adventure, but i was content to float. anyways they were all crowded with the cheerleaders and jocks of the backpacker world, it looked like spring break.