I left Luang Prabang to drive back down to Vientiane as I'd be teaching yoga for a week at the Vientiane Yoga studio. Unfortunately for my teaching, another guest teacher with more priority happened to be in town, but I was warned that this may be the case. I taught class every day at 7am but no one showed up. Toni, the other teacher did give me one of her classes to teach and it was a nice one. More importantly though I was blessed with the gift of new friendship. Marnie, the owner of the studio was a gracious host and friend. She put me up for the whole week gratis and shared with me much of her knowledge of Vientiane (she's lived there for over a decade) and also introduced me to many movies and shows I'd never have known about because they were Australian. (I know, who knew the Aussies had TV. hehe)
The week was very relaxing and restorative for me. I practiced yoga every morning to dvd's to remind myself of practices and forms long forgotten. I read everyday and also did my fair share of sleeping. I turned 31 on a beautiful friday and celebrated by practicing yoga and then basically doing nothing else but sleeping... I guess it's a good way to ease into the old age.
Besides all this, I also took a little day trip over the Friendship Bridge to Thailand to get a new visa as mine was running out. Already a month in Laos, can you believe it? Another place I planned to stay less time in and have stayed much longer in. I wasn't sure how easy it'd be to cross the bridge via motorbike as I've read it's not allowed, also I was never given the correct permits to bring my bike into the country. Long story short, I bounced around offices at the border to get permission to bring my bike back into Lao and I crossed over to Thailand. In Thailand I hopped from window to window and got my free stamps to which I then crossed back into Lao. I never declared my bike in Thailand as I was afraid I'd have to pay even though I was just there for about 20 minutes. Instead, I drove over a curb and zoomed out of the country, crossing the Mekong again.
This time in Vientiane I liked it much more than the first time around. I think it was here I figured the secret of Lao out. "If you come to Lao looking to do something, you won't like it. But if you come to Lao looking for nothing, you'll find it." It's not that Lao has nothing to do, quite the contrary. But so many countries in SEA (south east Asia) have all these "must-do" things that people come in for a week or so to do and then leave. Lao is more about relaxing, taking things slow and enjoying life.
So with that in mind, I'm signing off to enjoy some life here in Lao.