ASIA TRIP 2008 travel blog

This morning I took a lovely tuk tuk ride to the friendship bridge, which is the only bridge crossing between Laos and Thailand. When I got to the Thai immigration building, this really friendly Laos man greeted me and helped me get through immigration really quickly, then he rode on the bus with me to Laos and did the same thing there, translating into English as best he could what I didn't understand at the Immigration in Laos. There was lots of stamps and papers and thank god he was there to help me because I would have been walking in circles...He then drove me into Vientiane, which was about 15 minutes from the bridge and recommended some good guesthouses...very helpful. I ended up staying in a not so great guesthouse with no A/C and there were bugs everywhere. Oh well it's all part of the experience I guess...

I walked around the center of Vientiane, which is what they call "the fountain", but its hardly a fountain really, and I have yet to see it turned on. There were many backpackers cruising around there, so I figured I would meet someone, and I did. I met these two interesting asian travelers, that I ended up wandering around town with. It was their first day in Vientiane too, so we were all kinda lost. Really cool people, the one guy was from Japan and is studying thai and english in Bangkok, I can't pronounce his name even if I tried. He didn't speak english very well, but his friend "Hong" spoke really well. Hong is from South Korea and has been traveling solo for a year and a half now. He was a really interesting person to listen to, lots of cool stories and an awesome outlook on life. They kept saying how much they admired me for how well I speak English, and for being a teacher, and they said, "you seem like a much happy person because you smile a lot, I am jealous! :) I am a happy person!!!! Hong was much more fascinating to me because of all the adventures he has been on all around the world. They introduced me to some new foods, that I was a bit nervous to try, but I gave it a shot and actually enjoyed it. The first was this fruit that I have seen all over thailand, I guess it is known as the "smelly fruit". It is prohibited in airports and many other places because of the smell. It kind of has somewhat of an oniony smell and taste, but it wasn't too bad! Then we went and had some beers at a little bar by the river, waiting for the rainstorm to pass, and they made me try dried squid, I don't know the real name of it... I guess that is also a very popular thing to eat in Asia. These little ladies were walking around the bar with squid hanging out of these buckets, and they fry it right at your table. Surprisingly, I liked that a lot, it tasted really salty.

We talked for most of the night, and I did my best to teach them some more English...They asked me a lot about American too. They think that America is very dangerous, and that everyone there has a gun. Which I can see why they may think that, from the way most of the American movies portray it. Talking to them made me realize, how little I know about other countries and what is going on in other places in the world. They were great guys, I had a really good time with them, and they even walked me all the way back to my guesthouse at the end of the night!!!

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