Sep 7, 2006 – Nong Khai

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We made it to Nong Khai on the Thai \ Laos border but are paying to price now. We left Pai at 9:00 Tuesday morning for Chiang Mai. Then took a brutal overnight bus to Udon Thani. They have 3 levels of service here – VIP, air-con and regular. I wanted the VIP bus but settled for the air-conditioned except that we found out that just because the bus has air-conditioning it doesn’t mean that it works. It was 35 degrees C in the bus and no ventilation whatsoever. We bailed around midnight in Phitsanalok and waited for the next one with air-con that worked. And boy did it work – within hours we were asking for blankets. We got into Udon Thani around 7:30 a.m. and immediately jumped on to a local bus for the 50 km ride to Nong Khai. I didn’t sleep all night because of a cough I picked up and by the afternoon I was shivering even though it’s in the low 30’s here. I didn’t sleep again that night because of the alternating shivering and fever and at 3:30 a.m. walked down to the hospital – which happened to be 2 blocks away. After a chest xray the doctor diagnosed it as walking pnemonia and perscribed some antibiotics. Before I got the drugs, I had to pay cash for the services rendered – a doctor consult, xray and medication – and it totaled a whoping 245 baht (just over 5 bucks Canadian). That was Wednesday night and by Thursday morning I was feeling better and did manage to get a couple hours sleep Thursday night. The timing was good because Mary ingested something yesterday which did a number on her personal waste management system and she’s was down for the count on Thursday. Good thing we have Torin here to take care of his fragile parents!

Mary decided to take a yoga course here so we’ve opted to stay put for another week. I’m still not up to par so it’s probably a good idea. The plan now is to head into Laos on Sunday, Sept. 17 or 18.

With Mary being in a course all week, that left Torin and I hanging out and looking for things to do. First thing we found was to bring out the books – Toring started his math and english this week. We’re in a nice little guest house on the Mekong river so with an open air restaurant so that helped us develope a bit of a routine…

Up and have breakfast at 7:30, Math until about 9:30 or 10, then walk to an internet cafe and work on an English project ’til noonish. Then the two of us would find something to eat and explore the city in the afternoon. Most days we’d be on our own for supper as well since Mary’s course went til about 8 pm most nights.

We are fortunate to be here at the same time as the Mekong Goodwill games which featured China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and of course Thailand playing several sports. The ones we caught were soccer (Myanmar 2 – Thailand 0 and Laos 1 – Myanmar 0) and Sepaktakraw. The latter was quite facinating to watch as we’d played around with a takraw ball but never seen a real game with it. The pictures don’t do the players justice as their athletic ability was simply amazing to watch.

We enjoyed getting to know Nong Khai and having Nong Khai get to know us. I’m not sure how it happens but Torin and I seem to get noticed around town. So many times when we stopped to eat somewhere or use a particular internet cafe or walk into a store, people are friendly and say “oh yes, we’ve seen you walking by”. We’re at a point where people wave to us now. We purchased a banana roti from a woman on the street one night and the next day she rode by on her motorbike honking and waving to us. The same thing happened with the pizza guy. Maybe it’s time to move on.

Mary did enjoy her yoga course but I’m not in a position to tell you about it other than to say that it was intensive and we saw very little of her all week. I’ll have to leave the details for her to enter at a later date.

Well I have now added a couple of pictures of my yoga class and teachers. It was an excellent week and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn more about yoga and the chance to stretch out and breathe on a daily basis, which definitely has eased some of those aches and pains in my hips and gluts that I have been struggling with. It was a small class and a great group of people and consequently many great thought provoking discussions. For a gal who likes to multi task and do many things at once this course forced me to focus on one thing at a time and to be very precise and exact in all of the movements. A CHALLENGE needless to say but I am happy to say I did graduate with a certificate and all and am now in the process of trying to get my guys to try some of the poses as well. Hahahaha!!!