Where Enthusiasm Comes to Die

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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Misty morning over the Mekong
So the whole reason why I timed my border crossing and ditched Muang Ngoi before I wanted to is because a few months ago I made plans to meet John in Luang Prabang.  My route wouldn't have been so rushed because I was going to be coming from Myanmar and Thailand, but then I agreed to meet Josh in Siem Reap and shit got fucked up.  (Sorry Pops, but that's the most concise way of phrasing it.)  I had to squeeze Cambodia and Vietnam into four weeks and somehow make it to Luang Prabang in the most affordable manner possible, given that this weekend is Chinese New Year.  At home, we look at the Google homepage and notice the cute little graphics and go "oh look, it's Chinese New Year.
"  Here in Asia the shit hits the fan and NOTHING is direct or easy or affordable or without stress and frustration and you go "I will forever hate Chinese New Year."

Cheerful, aren't I?

So, even though this will be obvious after I explain it, I feel the need to spell it out to do justice to both John and myself.  As you know, I've been traveling for some time now.  We're rapidly approaching the five month mark.  It's been incredible, and one of the best things I've ever done for myself, but I'm at the point where I'm worn out and jaded and travel weary and counting the days until I'm back in the western world.  (Well, it's not that bad.  I don't have a countdown.  Yet.)  John, on the other hand, is on holiday.  For the weekend.
  WEEKEND.  We have a -- how shall I phrase this? -- WILDLY different perspective and approach to this weekend.

In the interest of saving the time and sanity of everyone, I'll be brief, and allow you to fill in the details as you see fit.

John arrived Friday afternoon after two short leisurely flights.  I arrived Friday evening after four nonstop days of travel, associated headaches included.  John is all about being where the "scene" is; I rather have a quiet meal involving good food and as little "scene" as possible.  John is on holiday and therefore embodies the go! go! go! tourist mantra; I've been inserting subtle and creative versions of "leisurely" and "relaxed" and "no agenda" into my vocabulary.


The whole manners and Catholic guilt upbringing thing means I hinted but didn't put up a fight, and so we tackled the town and did a whole assortment of temples and markets and the National Museum and far too much walking in the blazing heat.  It also means that I got sunburned (for the first time on my whole trip!) because I was in denial about how long we'd be out (all day), and progressively crankier and grumpier and snippier and all that.  John wouldn't stop babbling about how great the town was and making every asinine comparison he could think of and remarking how relaxed and peaceful it was (really? because my relaxing peace is being SHATTERED by your nonstop commentary) and generally employing the opposite of "if a person is grumpy, give them some space to breathe" logic.


He finally became passive aggressive after dinner, which is a welcome change as far as I'm concerned.  I know I'm supposed to be interpreting the silences as being awkward or negative or provoking a civilized conversation to find a mutual solution, but I'm relishing the silence too much.  And then of course today he's tried to put on a happy face and suggest things like lunch or make more asinine comments that I'm supposed to take as humor, but every time he does it just pisses me off all over again.  Which means I'm clocking in thirty-something hours of a monosyllabic existence.  Which is rude and immature and far from the behavior I should be exhibiting, but there you have it.

I JUST. NEED. SPACE.

Also, Luang Prabang really is wonderful.  I plan on hanging out a few days longer to properly enjoy this place.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
sylviandavid says:
fun read.... You are pretty frustrated... Bless your heart.... and you need a hug! Sylvia
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010
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Misty morning over the Mekong
Misty morning over the Mekong
Sticky rice cakes laying out to dr…
Sticky rice cakes laying out to d…
Monk laundry!
Monk laundry!
View over the Mekong
View over the Mekong
View over the Mekong
View over the Mekong
Fishing nets
Fishing nets
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2