Wednesday, October 21, 2015



Lao does have a 'special' place in my memory of the worst food poisoning I'd ever received last time I was here.  Last night, second worst.

Because I'd eaten so little during the day, I know exactly which restaurant gave me the food poisoning.  It was a nice little Korean eatery with excellent food.  On the way in.  Whereas I've eaten street food and been fine.


Another country, another hospital.

Fortunately, my foot pain seems to have dissipated.  This is odd as I thought I'd have to get a wooden peg and a crutch.

After the hammer and chisel Thai massage, my shins have also gone back to closer to normal size.  It still surprises me that seems to have worked.

Unfortunately, my conjunctivitis is still with me after about ten days and my explosive diarrhea from food poisoning after three long, long days.

So I went to the hospital.

It is suspiciously close to where I am staying which may lead some to assume that I had chosen this place which was a close walk to the hospital.  They would be wrong.  I am just lucky.

They gave me some new medicine to try out and I am back to drinking salt flavored salt (yes, really) in my water to try to regain stuff lost in the toilet.

There was only one other foreigner who showed up as I was leaving and she looked miserable.  I'm guessing either food poisoning, heat stroke or both.

Foreigner price to see doctor, 70,000 kip.  Less than I am paying per night for my room.  Good value.


Let's think about it for a minute - what is your most important sense when choosing a place to stay?

Many people would say sight - if the place looks clean and well kept...

But I say it is hearing.

Get it?

After I've established a 'base camp', I will often wander around the town with headphones on, listening to books.  Not so when I am looking for a place to stay.

Hearing is vital.

That may not sink in, so I will state it again:  Hearing is vital.

If you are wandering around, concentrating on something else - like your cell phone clutched in your hand like a new appendage, you lose.

You have to go around and listen.

Why is this?

Assuming you are not some sort of religious nut who isn't allowed to drink any alcohol - or a past alcoholic who is trying to kick the habit, chances are you will want to sleep in.  Perhaps you are not going to get blasted but you want to have a very active day then sleep in.

That crazy Garfield.

If you forego listening to the surroundings you will be rudely awoken early and not well pleased by the experience.

Here are some of the things to keep an ear out for:

Construction (they start early in the morning)
Chickens (they like to crow often and at all hours)
Children (their voices cut through my soul like broken shards of glass)
Churches, mosques and other god-botherers (they tend to call him loudly)

Seriously - all of these are horrible things to be woken up early by.  If the hostel/hotel/guesthouse is within a couple blocks of them, chances are good you will wake up yelling "What the fuck?!"

You won't be yelling "What the fuck?" as well as he, but that's why he gets paid the big bucks.

Avoid them as you would earthquakes or rattlesnakes.

Note that in some towns, it is simply not possible.  In the town I currently am, many locals seem to make their living through banging pieces of metal together, operating band saws and just hammering on various things.  But do your best.


Room, somewhere between 50,000 kip and 100,000 kip.  The lower end gives fan, upper end gives AC.  For luxury rooms the the two finer resorts in the area, about $50 USD per night.

Food, 20,000 to 50,000 kip.  Lower end gives you street food, upper end for foreigner run businesses.

Water, about 5000 kip for the small (half liter) one at a restaurant.  Water is cheap.  Might be 5000 for a liter at a grocery store.

Pringles, 20,000 kip.

Emergency room doctor visit, doctor speaks OK English, 70,000 kip.

Mosquito killer, room spray (seriously the stuff you put on yourself is just not enough), 20,000 kip.

Medicine, various - it's cheap here folks.  Under 50,000 kip for eye drops, salt packets and pills for the butt.

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