Hello Muang Sing

The hotel operator who spoke little English directed me to the market place where I could find still another pick-up truck to take me to Mong Sing and route 322. Space was limited. For two hours I hung precariously from the back of the truck gripping a roll bar, surviving the bumpy hair pin curved adventure by wedging my feet onto a small piece of medal which served as the outdated truck’s bumper.

We sped up foggy tree lined hills as the little vehicle played chicken with large cargo trucks barreling toward us loaded with Chinese manufactured goods. The road had been paved, apparently long ago. It was now pitted ever few feet with water logged pot holes. Each time we unexpectedly careened into one of these large ruts I gripped the roll bar with vigor blistering my hands.

After traveling this way for 60 kilometers I was nauseous. My condition worsened hen I discovered Muang Sing was essentially a one lane street which extended for a few blocks and then abruptly ended. As always though with great adventures, as I hung on for dear life on the bumper of the pick up, I struck up a conversation with a Laotian student who happened to be studying English. He invited me to his aunt’s home which was really a first floor store front along the main street. Together we talked of Laos. As there was no refrigeration we enjoyed a warm beer together before he boarded still another pick-up headed for his native village high in the surrounding mountains.

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