4/23/18: Learning German In Laos

I woke up at 5:30 to see the Alms Giving Ceremony before my run. It’s when the monks walk around town at sunrise, collecting food from whoever offers it to them. The offerings, which are usually sticky rice, fruit, and traditional snacks, serve as their food for the day. It’s a big tourist attraction here in Luang Prabang. Adrian was already up, so we walked over to the main street together.

There were already quite a few people there waiting for the ceremony. Some of the tourists had sticky rice to offer to the monks, and the locals were guiding them through what to do when the monks come.

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It’s so crazy that the monks do this every day. They have to rely on other people’s generosity for all of their food. And a lot of the time, that food comes from other people’s hands since the offerers just take a handful of sticky rice and place it into their bowls.

I found it a bit odd that it’s such a big tourist attraction here, even though I’ sure they do this ceremony everywhere.

Adrian and I set off for our run around 6 am. We decided to run to the airport and back, which would give us about 4 miles total.

I’ve been learning some German from Adrian: so far I know thank you (danke), you’re welcome (bitte), numbers 1 to 20, dickhead (schwanzkopf), ok (ach so ach so)… and some others.

We crossed over an old bridge, ran on a big flat road for a while, and got to the halfway point: the gate to the airport. Adrian looked really tired, so I asked if he was ok. He told me he just needed a few minutes to catch his breath and walk for a bit.

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We walked for a couple minutes, and I pushed him to keep going. I tried to slow my pace, but for some reason I didn’t feel that tired and I actually wanted to go faster for once. I feel like when I run alone, I’m fine running super slow, but when I’m with other people who are also slow, I want to run faster. It makes no sense.

But I figured this was my time to pay it forward since Michael had run slow for me back in Cambodia last month.

Once we were back at our guesthouse, Adrian was exhausted. I felt a bit bad for pushing him, but I also felt a bit proud to be in better shape. hehe.

I got breakfast and then went to a cafe, Mali Cafe, near the morning market with Katie (a girl from Canada who I met on the bus from Vang Vieng). I blogged for the rest of the morning and then walked back when I was hungry. I got a coconut/banana smoothie on the way home, and it was absolutely amazing.

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I chilled with the others for a bit and then met Katie for lunch. She brought a friend from her hostel, another Canadian named Jordan, and we went to Big Tree Cafe, a Korean/Lao place. I got or lam, a type of Lao soup, with tofu. It was my first time trying it, and I loved it. So good and healthy.

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Or lam and red rice

Katie and I walked to L’estranger Bookstore, but they didn’t have any good books.

We walked 15 minutes more to the Traditional Arts And Ethnology Centre, but it was closed so I went to get a massage at Laha instead. I waited about 30 minutes because all the masseuses were busy.

I got a Thai massage, and it was amazing. I was really happy when I saw that my masseuse was a guy, since I feel like they put more power in massages. Sometimes female masseuses are too gentle.

I still had about an hour to kill before meeting the boys to climb up to Mount Phousi for sunset, so I walked around the market a bit and bought some fresh spring rolls because I was hungry. I got 8 rolls for 10,000 kip (about $1). So cheap.

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The walk to the viewpoint was steep but short; we were at the top in five minutes. It was crowded up there— it seems to be “the” viewing spot for sunset. We settled on an area and sat there until the sun went down.

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Night market tents
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The climb
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The view

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So many people

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Falko, Adrian, Mateus

Then we walked around to look for dinner, eventually sitting down at a restaurant close to where I had lunch (forgot the name, sorry!!).

I got fried seaweed to share with Mateus, plus ginger stir fry and a beer.
We went to Utopia bar after dinner and played Mao Mao, aka German Uno, and had some more beers before going home.

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Fried seaweed

The boys (Adrian, Falko, and Mateus) do this weird thing where they always get beers right before bed. Like, we’ll be going home and I’ll go to bed, but they’ll buy one more beer and drink it just before bed. I’ve never really known anyone who does that before, and I can’t tell if it’s a German thing, a guy thing, or just a them thing.

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