A Travellerspoint blog

My Kingdom for a Turkey Dinner

And by kingdom, I mean 10x10 hostel room, shared bathroom and maybe my backpack...

Well friends, it's a sad state of affairs.

The day before Thanksgiving. I'm sure you're all running around baking pies and putting on your winter coat, greated with a chill in the air and the smell of fresh pine trees. Complaining about how Christmas music is already on the radio and what is the world coming to. Debating about which tie to wear and how to avoid your crazy Uncle ______.

We curse you all. Ungrateful snivling twits thats what you are.

Here we sit in Laos. We have scowered the fine capital city of Vientiane, but to no avail.

Tomorrow we shall dine on a sad looking feast of fried rice and pickled vegtables, undoubtedly. As you sit there with your champagne and bicker over who get's to slice the bird.

No turkey. No mashed potatos. No cranberry sauce or stuffing and gravy and muffins and salad and pie, oh dear god the pie.

"But you guys get to take a trip around the world!" you say.

Bite me you turkey eating mongrels.

xoxo from Southeast Asia,

Your Favorite Bribing Canadians

Posted by lbassi 06:11 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

Artistic genius come alive in Laos

The slow boat blues.

As you can imagine, months of travel leave one with a lot of empty time at hand. Countless hours spent on trains, buses, and boats push wary travellers to the limits of bordom. After reaching a score of 8000 in Gin-Rummy last week we decided we needed a new way to entertain ourselves. If only we had an instrument we thought. Perhaps we could teach ourselves guitar. No, that wouldn't do -- a guitar would be unwieldy. What about a harmonica one asked? Ah yes, the answers to all of our earthly desires -- a harmonica upon which to play the blues. Soon we were carried away by the music - inventing blues lyrics for every possible woe we could think of. Here's a little taste of a diddy that came to me on the boat to Luang Prabang -- mind you, it had been a rough morning, and our boat really did leave us.

slow boat.jpg

The Slow Boat Blues (It sounds better with Lauren on the imaginary harmonica)

Our boat gone and left us, bout an hour ago
We'd no one to turn to, all of the drivers said no.
"We don't know the way," they said with a grin
No choices to choose from, things looked mighty grim
Our hope had done vanished, we'd knew we'd been jipped
So we followed the masses, to an overfilled ship

Ooh! It was a sloooow boat, slow boat to Laos (pronounced Kennedy style Lay-ous for the purposes of this song)
Yes, it was a sloooow boat, out of the chaos...

Please direct all record deal negotiations to my personal email.
mekong fog.jpg

Posted by Ivory 05:42 Archived in Laos Comments (1)

Another one bites the dust

Misery and woe, woe and misery...

That's right kids.

IPOD number 2 has fallen.

And not to theft or water or mayhem, the usual causes. It woke up one day and decided it was no longer meant for this world.

We've been gone a month and a half and we're down two IPODS. The soundtrack of our trip has officially become Chinese pop and whatever Justin Timberlake song the radio forces upon us. Oh...and the constant humming we subject the world to in order to fill the void.

Misery and woe. Woe and misery.

I think we're handling it quite maturely, don't you?

Posted by lbassi 04:52 Archived in China Comments (0)

Let's hope it's the journey, not the destination that counts

Getting lost in South Central China


Optimistic travellers that we are, we set out early that fine morning with water bottles full, bodies rested, and (shock) legs bared in shorts for the first time this trip, to bicycle our way through the countryside surrounding Yangshou. We rode out of town, ambitiously declining the help of a local guide -- we are afterall, women of adventure. Less than a mile out of town, two things became very clear -- first, the charming rattling sound on my single gear bicycle was not going to go away and b) we were, already, really quite lost. In our possession however was a map and a dream and so onward we peddled further and further from town. Seemingly hours later, saved by a local school boy who turned us in the right direction, we happened upon the Yulong Bridge where bamboo boats abounded, their owners urging us to let them paddle us and our bikes to our destination.

We determinedly declined their assistance (as well as that of the many eager 8 year old guides who offered to assist us in our journey to the Great Banyan Tree). About an hour later, we find that we are, once agian, a bit lost. The scenery however is breathtaking enough to make up for the fact that we are unable to find the river path and we forge onward. Flash forward 15 minutes. We are trapped in the most miserable pricker patch Briar Rabbit ever imagined. What we thought was the river path had quickly narrowed into a thin dirt line that trailed between briars and rice paddies and did not allow space for our poor scraped and bleeding legs, much less our bikes. Urged on by two lady farmers assessing their crops we persisted only to become more and more trapped.
Much to our helpers' dismay, we turned back. On our way the gods shined on us, and put in our path another farmer who, amidst trying to keep a local steer from assaulting his muddy cattle, pointed us in the direction of the real river path (which, to our credit, did NOT run along the river). We were on the right track at last as we set off gleefully humming Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" as we peddled our way in the direction of our destination.

Or not. Foiled again, we found ourself in a small village of endless twists and turns and monochrome conrete buildings. The village residents did not seem at all a stranger to lost travellers and had no inclination to assist us. Tired, bleeding, hungry, and terribly dejected, we turned back toward the highway that would return us to Yangshou. It was a long day, it was a trying day, it was a day that makes a woman of adventure doubt her sense of direction and explorative abilities. stunning grain.jpgIt was worth it.

Posted by Ivory 04:47 Comments (0)

Things that make you go hmmm...

Definitive Social Commentary of the PRC

Well...perhaps neither definitive nor social.

But commentary all the same.

It is with no small amount of fanfare that we offer you Pay the Bribe's very first top 5 list...(drum roll please...)

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...
aka The Drifter's Guide to the People's Republic of China...

5. Why is hitting yourself repeatedly in various parts of the body considered exercise?

4. Fashion in China...how are lacy ankle stockings, purple velvet pumps, sequined sweaters and white wind pants sweeping the nation?

3. What attracts socially akward western men to the near east? And how, dear god how, are they getting these hot asian women?

2. Asia is 4 lovers...did you realize that the most romantic spot in the world was not London or gay Paris, but in fact the entire continent of Asia? Love is in the air here my friends. Never have I seen people make out or flaunt their attachements with such reckless abandon. Why? No one knows. But today, I saw a woman clean out her sweetheart's earwax with her finger. If that isn't love...

1. Why why why do all of your baby clothes have a giant slit up the butt, leaving it enitrely exposed? Every single baby we see waddling around is wearing a jumper of sorts that exposes the bum. Why? Is it pre-training? A pre-curser to the toilet is understanding that it shouldn't happen in the clothes? Are parents recuired to pick up after their todlers when they shit on the street? Why is this superior to the diper?

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome my dear readers. (Mom, is it's just you, reply by email...)

Baffled in Yunnan...

Your Friendly Neighborhood Canadians

Posted by lbassi 23:30 Archived in China Comments (1)