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Kip In A Gaff

First, to the bank to get some money. This took longer than expected and we had to argue with the guy in there to give us the 500 kip he was supposed too (technically it was 450 but the lowest it goes is 500). Eventually got it and left triumphant! 500kip = 4p sad times.

Asked for two “lemon juices” at breakfast and were not shocked when two “mixed fruit shakes” appeared (always point to the menu, twice). They looked like breast milk and tasted like Yaks milk but Victoria was thirsty so they went down a treat.

Got our stuff and went to meet the boat man who was taking us over to the next island for a homestay or as Gordon eliquently put it, ‘a kip in a gaff’. We were worried that it was going to be touristy, no worries there. The boat man spoke zero English and was supposed to be taking us to a family home that would have us. He stopped on the other island and pointed at the ‘community lodge guesthouse’.
‘No we want home stay’
‘guest house?’
‘home stay’
‘guest house?’

This went on for a bit then we followed him further inland and stopped at a house where he talked to some people for a bit. Again, no English. We were ushered to put our bags down and sit. Then charades started again, jeremy worked it out first, the man was going to go up there on his bike to see if he could find some one to take us in. We waited, watching the women of the family pick things out of eachothers hair.

He came back and put us in the house we were sat outside. Ok so either no one wants us or we got charades wrong. They have an ‘open floor’ plan and they set our ‘bed’ up by the stairs, behind the tv, opposite the master mat and round the corner from the kitchen, sweet. The whole thing was on stilts and was actually really nice. We went for a walk up the island in the sweltering heat, there was no breeze to be had, past some schools and back again in time for lunch.

Sticky rice, vegetables, omelette and spicy sauce was all washed down with, what we presume (by the smell) was roughly filtered river water.

The man of the house came back at lunch and spoke more English than anyone else (wasn’t hard to beat) but was still very limited. Coupled with some charades it was enough to communicate that he was the head (or a teacher, or perhaps just worked) at the local school.

Another walk after lunch in the opposite direction was also very nice and we stopped on the shady sandy river bank to nap (victoria) and write (jeremy).

Played cards and waited for dinner to be served at 7. Man of the house returned once again and joined us for cards. He attempted to teach us a game by gesturing and talking at us in Lao. We got it in the end, basically you put each one of your cards down one at a time and then he tells you who wins.

We took a bucket bath in the toilet hut out the back of the house, which again was suprisingly enjoyable and watched Lao vs Singapore at football in the SEA games. This was hysterical, it was like watching a school football match. The man of the house kept trying to explain that this was the first half and that there is another half to come, that it was 0-0 and that Lao and Singapore were playing. Not sure he realised football is quite big in the uk. But the best bit was the last 15 mins when each team did absolutely nothing. Singapore had the ball and passed it between the back three for 10 minutes. 0-0 both teams seemed ecstatic with their draw.

Sleeping under our mozzie bed now and the snoring from man of the house has died down so might get a good kip in.

  1. Mark Vice (Reply) on Saturday-12, 2010

    I love it!

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