Miller and the Adventure from the Edge… of Laos!

Well Gor bloody Blimey!!!!! You’re still reading after that melarchy!!!!! 🙂 Its nice to know…..or not know as the case may be!!!! I know it might be a bit deep at times….but the thing is……

……..if you start looking at life and the universe as being just energy………then we’re all made of the same shit…..and I am you as much as you are me………so what the fuck is there to keep from eachother?….we’re all part of the same life experience……..so why not feel free to share it!!!! I dont feel I have to hide any part of me………I feel FREE……..and being able to express your emotions to anyone on any level is an ultimate freedom (and thats not saying you have to!!!!).

Thats why I love the friendships I have with and working with adults with learning disabilities…………. they’re among the most REAL people on planet earth!!!!!!……. And the most human. Whatever they express, whether its postive or negative, is the truth of who they are in any given moment! So dont pity them……they’re among the luckiest people alive!!!!!!……..they’re freer then you and me in many ways and they’ve chosen that life experience anyway…..who are you to judge their decision…..you dont know what they’ve come here to learn! 🙂

So I’m gonna Carry On…….Carrying On…….and what a Bloody Carry On!!!!! 🙂

Oh my God, the time has come…………..so get ready to give the biggest welcome and a masSIVE round of applause, to the one, the only……..the one thats not phoney……. The Un……Disputed….the one thats not muted…………….ADDDDVVVVENTUURREEESSS IN LAAAAOOOSSS!!!!!!…………….we got Laos in da hoooouuuuusssssse!!!!!! 😉

PREVIOUSLY ON THE ADVENTURES OF MILLER (septic tank accent)……….mental trip up along the river in the fastest boat in the east of Cambodia, reaching the boarder and blagging the official, denying him a bribe, but then giving him a beer (cos he seemed a decent bloke) and receiving a cheer from all the other boarder guards, going off into the distance ready to confront the Laos boarder police…….

AND NOW THE CONCLUSION OF “FROM THE EDGE OF LAOS” (yankie accent again!!!)……

…………….So we were crossing the border armed only with a loolly pop (and some sweets that the Korean girl had in her possession)…..as you know, I’d generously given away part of my armoury after suceessfully negotiating a path through the Cambodian boarder……and the guard was probably already drinking the cheeky pigs ear and enjoying the effects of alcohol intoxication as we crossed the river into the Laos!;-)

I’d seen the Laos flag flying about 800 yards down the river, but the boat driver refused to drop us there, instead dropping us on the opposite side to the Cambodian passport control, which meant we were gonna have to walk the rest of the way…….merchant banker!!!!

But as we got off the boat, the scam became clear….there was a load of muppet…..I mean moped……drivers trying to give us a lift there claiming the check point was 2 km away…….. “No thankyou and no its not…… its about 800 yards thankya very much” I declared thinking “Fucking twat…. and what kind of monkey do you really think I am?”. So off we walked, at their displeasure.(oh….they were so upset!!!!;-))…… and me hoping that the flag I saw was the check point after all!!!!! :-)…..and as we approached it turned out it was….thank fuck for that!!!!!

So, feeling confident after our last encounter, yet still a bit apprehensive because of the warnings, we approched the passport control, which was just a shack with a gate in the middle of dusty clearing in the jungle….it goes through your head just to walk around it….but you immediately think better of that idea…….that would really be walking into the unknown……especially with all the mines and the unexploded bombs the Yanks have kindly donated to the area!!!!!

So the passport official saw us and went and stood by his desk, immediately demanding $2 to pass…………now $2 is nothing in the grand scam of things….but its the principle which really rocks my boat!!!! Why the fuck should you ever have to pay a bribe to do something you already have a RIGHT to do…..I’d already paid $30 for my visa!!!!! And the Canadian guy felt the same….so we started the game of cat and mouse…….and right from the off, it was clear this geezer didnt have a sense of humour!!!!!

……And that annoyed me even more……if you’re doing something which is a bit moody…..at least have the decency to play the game a bit!!!! He sat there like he was the king and just looked at us if we were a couple of monkeys…..the geezer werent budging, and nor were we and in the end got up and joined the rest of the boarder “guard” ferturnity. Based on my experiences of corrupt boarders in Africa (I once waited 5 hours before I got through….. but without paying a bribe!!!!) I thought “Fuck it then….we’ll sit this one out aswell then you wanker!!!!”.

But after half hour we called him back to discuss further the affairs of money and crossing the boarder……….and in midst debate, the Korean girl pulled out her sweets and put them on his desk offering them as a bribe!!!!!! Oh my God…..did he not like that!!!!!….you should have seen the look on his boat race!!!!…….he gave the filthiest of looks and slammed them all back infrount of her………shouting something in Laos and scarpering away again!!!! It was quality:-)….but I figured I’d better keep my lollipop under wraps!!!!!! 😉

Then this German couple turned up and we explained what the deal was with the officials, and I told them “You gotta pay $2 to get through…….TWO DOLLARS!!!” I said raising my voice for comical effect, but also to make a point!!!!………..And FUCK……you’ll never guess what happened next…………

The official geezer came running from his table….shouting at me in Laos, patting his hand on his gun by his waist and then hand signalling he’d put hand cuffs on me!!!!! FUCKING HELL….I didnt expect that reaction……the air had suddenly become like a tinder box….and I could feel how much I was living on the edge…….everyone drew breathe……..except me…….I just looked at him, smiled and said…….. “I was only joking”. Its strange….but even though I was on the edge……I knew I hadnt crossed it….but I have to admit……..my toes were so far over the edge I was practically standing on my heels!!!! 🙂

I honestly didnt feel any fear at that moment though….somehow I still felt in control…….and its amazing how a smile can defuse any situation!!!!!!!……but I tell you what…..if it hadnt been for there being other westerners present….I reckon I would have been in serious trouble…..but then again if they hadnt been there, I would have read the situation differently and not have taken the liberties I had……I feel I’m pretty good at pushing things to the limit….and realising when the limit has been reached…..at least I hope so!!!!

Well, the geezer calmed down and after seeing that shannagan….the Germans opted to pay up and shut up straight away!!!!! And quite frankly…….we followed suit quick smart!!!!! Only after the guard had seen the Germans off…..he went and sat down ignoring us…..and in the end after gentle persuassion that we were gonna pay, another “official” came to our aid and accepted our bribe……….and we just wanted to get the fuck out of there!!!!!

laos

We caught up with the Germans who were negotiating a taxi truck ride. Spencer and his missus the Korean, were going on about 4 thousand island…..I’d planned to go to Pakse, but was happy to go with the flow, and the Germans seemed to also. So on we jumped heading for 4 thousand island……reliving the events of what had just happened “How close was that?” I said and then “That was quality with the sweets though!!!!! Respect!!!!”….and everyone laughed….but it was a nervous kinda laugh……we all knew that things could’ve turned out very differently……but we were pleased with the fact that even though we’d succome to giving a bribe……..we’d done it with the biggest and juciest middle-finger raised possible!!!!! Respect to that!!!!! 🙂

……….but never again!!!!!…….CAN THIS TRUCK GO ANY FASTER!!!!!!!!!! 😉

We arrived at the ferry point for 4 thousand island, and by then the germans had changed their mind, wanting to go to Pakse…but that truck wouldnt take them there….it was about a 3 hour drive. I had the feeling I should really go to Pakse….so said we could share a ride there. So we left the Canadian couple to their own devices and went to sort out finding a ride…..but the little….well I dont know what it was?…..couple of rows of buildings?……..didnt show much promise and it was a good 20 minutes before we negotiated a ride to Pakse for $30…….and we made it clear about the conditions!!!

It all seemed to be gravy…….we were going faster then a speeding Lada….and leaving the boarder thankfully far in our wake!!!! But then after two and a half hours the truck pulled over at a “bus” station (to be honest it was more of a mud station) in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by mountains and was wondering what was going on and then the driver got out of his cabin and told us to get off, while unloading all of our stuff.

“Bro whats going on…..this blatently aint Pakse” I said….”Pakse…..you get Tuk Tuk” he ordered.

What the fuck?……We hadnt paid anything yet and was a bit miffed at what was going on……the deal was he give us a lift to Pakse and we were still around half-hour away!!!! Me and Martin were looking at eachother wondering what to do and asked how much a tuk tuk for the rest of the journey would be “$3” he replied. So Martin goes “Ok….we give you $27 then”…which I completely agreed with and we started sorting out $27 between us.

Then this geezer started freaking out shouting “NO!!! YOU GIVE $30” waving his arms about and flying off the handle. So we gets into an argument with this geezer….him being all irate….but us managing to keep our cool….saying the deal was you give us a lift to Pakse and we’re not there so we’ll just give you $27….unless you take us to Pakse.

The geezer was flipping out and getting abusive…..saying “You dont pay…….I take you back!!!!” …..And in the mean time we were guarding out bags while we’d been surrounded by about 15 other geezers, half of which were looking intimidatingly and menacingly at us….the other half with smiles on their faces enjoying our predicament and obviously thinking “You’ve got Bob Hope and no hope mate!!!” waiting for us to kick off……..which, thankfully, we didnt.

Now….I’ve been in quite a few scrapes in my time and I’ve always felt quite powerful and in control thoughout them………… but this was different……….I swear, in all of my days travelling and growing up in London….I’ve never felt like I was in such a powerless position before……..we were in the middle of nowhere….surrounded by a bunch of geezers who looked ready to kick off…..and if it had kicked off, even though there were a few other people scattered about, I knew that no one would’ve come to help us. And unlike the boarder incident, this felt like it was completely out of my control.

The other geezers were informing us that we should pay up and one of them had his tuk tuk ready to take us into town (he seemed like a reasonable fellow actually), but Martin said “No….we only pay $27!!!”…..then the driver shouts aggressively…”I take you back then!!!!!” and grabs my bag and lifts it off the floor…..

…….Now at this point a line had been crossed……….and I had a choice….I knew if I let it go…..we were fucked….so there was only one thing I could do…….so I slammed the bag straight back on the floor and looked the geezer in the eye and stated, in a very powerful voice…”DO NOT……touch my bag….we will sort this out, but DO NOT touch my bag”….I swear….it was a proper Ray Winston moment!!!!! 😉

Now at that point things could’ve gone either way…..we eye-balled eachother for a good 5 secounds and I was ready for the worst and prepared to have it…..but then, luckily, he backed down and released my ruck sack. And I tell you what….if he hadnt done that…..there was no way out……and I very much doubt you would’ve ever heard from me again…..and that is no exageration….I felt it with every ounce of my being…….but I was glad I made a stand….it turned out to be right thing to do.

I turned to Martin and said “Bro, lets just pay and get the fuck out of here hey”….Martin agreed and was actually about to say the same thing, so me, him and his missus paid up and jumped in the tuk tuk and headed for Pakse.

What a fucking day!!!!! I’d been in Laos a little over 3 hours and I’d already almost been arrested and attacked by a mob!!!! And this was the country everyone had been raving about….saying it was so peaceful and the people were amazingly friendly!!!!! What was going on….what had I let myself in for!!!!

We got to Pakse, checked into a hotel and went for a curry across the road, nice place and nice food….my stomach was able to take it which I was so glad about….they even had potatoes!!! How much I prefered potaotoes as a constituant food to rice!!!!! Anyway….we were now enjoying the evening and a beer and reliving the events of the day when I got a tap on my shoulder…….IT WAS LAURA!!!!!!……..

*Lauras a German girl I met years ago when I was working in Strasborg, France. We’d kept in touch and I’d gone over to Switzerland in October 2004 to visit her. I stayed at her place in Basel for a week and she said she’d just got her Kiwi visa and was heading over there in June. We hadnt been in touch since then….but I had a thought on the plane from London to Bankok, wondering if I’d bump into her on my trip…..and there she was!!!!! *

…………Well, it took me a secound to believe my eyes, but you should have seen the look on Lauras boat race, it was a picture, and it took her over a minute to adam and eve her mince pies!!!! Her and her boyfriend joined us for dinner and it was a nice evening. She said they were thinking of going either Tadloe falls the next day or another set of falls in the region. Tadloe falls?……..now I felt a good vibe about that place. Now that’s where I was going next!!!!!

So we ended the evening, with me saying “Maybe I’ll see you guys in Tadlo then”….and said our goodbyes…….and as it happens…….after the events of the last couple of weeks…..Tadloe Falls was exactly what I needed………..

Love and Light,

Miller

Author: Lee D Miller

I'm a bloke from Barking who has travelled the world and done his best to learn and enlighten. There's so much to learn and you cant do it all in a classroom. The World is the classroom and it's important that people wake-up to that fact.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s