I’m happy to report that lately many things have been working for a change. Alternatively, I’ve managed to rise above the everyday craziness that is living in Vientiane but nonetheless the effect on my spirit has been a positive one. Here are some moments that have made me happy in the past days and weeks.
My seemingly never-ending struggle with car paperwork is over! As of today, I’m in possession of a brand new pink book for my car that allows me to take it out of the country. With that and Thai car insurance I should finally be able to take my car across the border to Thailand. I say ‘should’ because if there’s one thing I have learned whilst living here, it’s that it’s not done until it’s done (like having a flight ticket for a work trip for the day after tomorrow and learning that the whole thing is cancelled). Fingers crossed I haven’t jinxed it now…
Ordering drinking water over the phone in Lao language and coming home to see that the water has actually arrived! That means they (a) understood what I want and where I live, (b) wrote down my order and sent someone to deliver it and (c) my landlady/cleaner/guard was around to let them in when they came round. Trust me, the number of times each of these three have gone wrong is something I gave up counting long time ago.
Our beloved Mekong beach is back and as a result we can play frisbee on the beach again! There’s something simply amazing about exhausting yourself by chasing after a plastic disc on the sand, watching the sun set over the Mekong while you do it and create a sandbox in your shower as you scrub yourself clean afterwards. The best part is that it’s at least another six months before the rains return so we’ve got plenty of time to enjoy it!
Last but most definitely not least, my wonderful friends who remind of the many finer things in life whenever my mood starts to sag. And then of course there’s cheesecake, this mind-blowing goodness that melts in your mouth and makes you smile for hours afterwards. Two particularly worth mentioning include a passionfruit cheesecake at La Signature and a Mars-bar cheesecake from Benoni Café.
Whilst writing this: COP17 has just started in Durban, South Africa. Two of my friends are part of the Lao delegation to the climate negotiations, I look forward to following their days at the conference. I’m also remembering the days two years ago when I was part of COP15 in Copenhagen. Let’s hope the stars are aligning in South Africa too and we get a real outcome from these two weeks.
Currently reading: In fact I have just finished all the books I was reading simultaneously. No worries though, my beach holiday for the next five days is likely to bring me back to a similar situation as I’m not planning to pack much more than a pile of books and a bikini.