Before being entirely done with Laos, I would like to leave a humorous, yet true, episode.
After leaving the crew for some well deserved peace and quiet, Pat caught up on our 2nd day in Vang Vieng. Shortly after, he fell seriously ill of what he thought was the Avian Flu as he shared his train carriage with a cage of chickens. Not long afterwards, the rest of us (I'm talking Phil, Ursula, Sean, Tom and myself) fell ill with the same bug and were practically glued to our bed for days. Symptoms included extreme body aches, severe headache and a fever that had buckets of sweat dripping off us. I swore up and down that it HAD to be Dengue. Good thing we were all supplied with antibiotics and managed to crawl out of an emergency state to a somewhat normal state with hacking coughs.
Crossing the Friendship Bridge and back into beautiful Thailand made us all sigh with release because we were on our way back to health and sanity. However, our first guest house over the border in Nong Khai was run by a very fruity set of aging ex-pat hippies that charged three times the price for beer but still expected you to serve yourself. Real put-on shit!! Our goal: to disseminate the killer Avian Flu to at least 2/3 of the granola crunching population of Mut Mee Guest House and leave unnoticed. So far we have been able to detect 3 people with our familiar raspy cough.
All that's left to say is, "Can't you feel the love in this house, man? You look like you need a hug!".