Monday, March 07, 2011

My Heart Will Go On

I am sure you are fully aware of the chaotic nature of South East Asian transit by now. Since arriving in this part of the world, our blog entries have mentioned this facet of SE Asian travel more than a few times. Right from buying the ticket all the way to being let off the bus frantic energy pervades the whole experience to a greater or lesser extent. This, people, is the prelude to the following short, but heart-wrenchingly sad story.

After a harrowing journey, our bus arrived in Vientiane (the capital of Lao) just as we hoped it would. What threw us off, though, was that our vehicle stopped at the side of the road in the city. Seemingly, we were within walking distance to a guest house. You see, in Lao tourist transport usually stops several kilometers outside of the actual city you paid the driver to drop you in. This way, each person is sort of forced into paying a tuk tuk (kind of like a taxi) to cover the final three to ten kilometers into the city. This peculiar Laotian practice is annoying and does little to endear the country to many travellers that we have spoken to. Either way, that's how it is. Anyway, back to this terribly tragic tale. You can understand our surprise to be let off within one hundred meters of our target guest house. The reason for this break from common practice is because in the front seat, next to the driver, was a falang and his Laotian girlfriend. Together, this team charmed the driver into not stopping outside of the city.

We jumped out of the bus in shock and amazement. Knowing we could forgo the usual tuk tuk ride, it was a joyous moment for us. We checked in, ate and went for a mosey around town. Here's the bad news: It wasn't until later that we realized in the commotion of being let off in the unusually convenient location that we left Jimmy under the seat on the bus. Jimmy the Rice Hat is no longer with us. I can't say much more about this right now, but I wish Jimmy many more years of dedicated service, sheltering some lucky person from both sun and rain. Maybe this is the lucky break he was waiting for. With us he never had a chance of working in the rice trenches. At least now he still has a chance at that. Good night and good luck, Jimmy.



On a different note, tomorrow is International Women's Day (8 March). In fact, it is its centenary. It has an interesting history that is worth looking into for its deeper purposes. But it is also a good opportunity to think about the women each of us are lucky enough to have known and who have had a positive impact on who each of us have become. International Women's Day is a celebratory day so celebrate the women in your life! Love you, Kristen, Mom, Penny, A Eileen, Looch and Ginny!

4 comments:

Sarah said...

What a tragedy. So sorry to hear the news. Fare thee well Jimmy, may you find what you're looking for...

Anonymous said...

HiJ.and K,
In my young days there was a popular song entitled " Where Oh where did you get that hat ? " I wonder if they had your Rice hat in mind !! Jonathan, if I didn't know you, I would be scared to meet you in the dark.Still, I'm sorry you have said goodbye to the hat. Your blogs are still very interesting and I look forward to each one coming. Keep it up ! Pappy.

Laura said...

I am sorry that you lost your hat. If you got a haircut perhaps you would find yourself more able to keep cool :) (that's for you, Pomes)

Anonymous said...

Wow I must say that is some hat indeed!Who knows where Jimmy is now but we wish him a long and happy life....
great blogs as ever - love to read them.
Thanks for your kind thoughts on celebrating Woman's day.
A Eileen