Monday, October 09, 2006

The Last Room

Vang Vieng, Lao P.D.R.

"Only one room left," the Lao receptionist said to my dismay.

There's usually a good reason why one room is the last to be sold to customers. It's next to the dumpster, or receives the smells from the kitchen, or is the darkest, dampest room in the place. But the town was filled with people, and this was reportedly the best guest house, so I said I'd look at it.

The receptionist led me to a room, off a courtyard with a river view, and opened the door. Bed, air con, modern bathroom. Looked fine. I said OK and paid the $25.

I had unpacked and was napping when the concert started. A few words of Lao, jarringly loud, and then a rock band started playing. The back wall of my room was vibrating from the noise, and I could hear each note from the guitar, bass and drums. A pen on the dresser was wiggling from the bass notes.

What the hell, I thought, and went to investigate.

A river festival was in full swing next door. Several hundred Laos and a few Westerners were on the riverbank, eating, flirting and dancing to a Lao band playing on a makeshift stage. The back wall of the stage was my wall. The monitor -- the speaker facing the band so they can hear themselves -- was aimed at my bed.

There was only one sensible thing to do. I bought a Beer Lao and watched the show.

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Blogger OurKid said...

Heh heh...I'm surprised you weren't responsible for the band's rider!

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How funny! I laughed out loud.

4:58 AM  
Anonymous the river thames said...

paul, question i had been saving till you had a little time to spread out and take the lay of the place.

does charlie gets much R&R?

9:58 AM  

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