Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Caves, pigs and whiskey

Here's a toast to something far nastier than a worm in a bottle of tequila...

...Centipedes, snakes, scorpions, lizards and other assorted dead things in a five gallon jug of whiskey. After I drank this we ate a dog. All night my heart felt like a pinwheel made of raw bacon.

Joe Mans the helm in our Mekong going vessel while Captain Kampon keeps an eye out for ladies off the Starboard bow.


A little boy adds chocolate sauce to his street bought ice cream. Little kids love the ice cream man.

The ice cream man does NOT love little kids. He doesn't trust them.

The beautiful Nong Khiaw countryside.

Inside a cave in which the villagers hid for years during the Indo-China war. The cave contained a hospital, a restaurant, a bank and all the other infrastructure of a real city. Or, I should say, it contained little wooden signs that said 'Bank', 'Hospital" etc propped up in different rooms of an empty cave.

We now know the sound of a pig being loaded into a truck by heart. ThispPig is alive, and the sound in incredible. 200 pound pigs DO NOT like to be lifted by their EARS and they let the world know. This sound is usually accompanied by giggles and sobs from nearby children, depending on how compassionate they are.

A woman rows by us in the Nong Khiaw river.

Children playing on the banks of the river. The whole town bathes here in the evenings.

Kids splash and play in the river.

Mia dips her toes into the icy water.

This was one of the best days ever. I did nothing adult at all. First, I dug this hole. Mia does not understand that men do not need a reason to dig a hole. It is like meditation for us. Man VS Nature. I have seen other men doing this on our trip. We have asked them why they are digging. They don't have a reason. "Just cuz", they say. I nod in understanding.

Next I spent a long time practicing my drawing and Lao writing with a girl on the banks of the river. She taught me to write in Lao, I taught her to write in English.

Later that night I went star gazing and I caught this frog. Or, it caught me. A perfect, mindless day.

A view of the river and the town from the massive concrete bridge.

A woman walks over the bridge. In the mornings it is so foggy that you cannot seen the river below the bridge or the mountains on the other side. It seems to stretch off into the clouds, into infinity, rising from nowhere and leading to nowhere.


Randy said...

yes - digging a foot-deep hole is the equivalent of drinking a shot of booze. it relaxes you and takes you to another place.
hopefully that place is china.

Ryan said...

My admiration for you taking a shot of that whiskey may be outweighed by my disgust at what was actually in that bottle aging the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Ryan