17/12/2008 – An unfinished bamboo bridge built by Monks
Pong and I set about making posters advertising his talks on Buddhism and Laos Culture and after lunch Nikkers (Australian girl) tagged along as we went on a mission around town putting up posters and stickers. We had advertised a dinner outing on the Spice of the Day board so Pong proposed a new restaurant just opened across the river. The only downside was that the quickest way to get there was to cross a bamboo bridge currently being built by Monks. We walked down to the bridge to find that the Monks had been slacking ;-) and the bridge was still incomplete. However, Pong still ordered us across, so I took off my flip flops to aid my grip on the slippery bamboo poles that were holding me up from the fast flowing river below. I shuffled along, holding Pong in front of me and Nikkers behind. After a couple of metres the bridge had the platform built but no handle bars, it was pretty hairy and I tried not to think of the dodgy nature of this bridge as we shimmied across as quickly as possible. At the other end, Pong took us to the wrong plot and we ended up walking through someone farm until we came across a steep dusty slope leading up to a pretty smart wooden restaurant. Slipping and sliding up the slope, Nikkers and I got pretty muddy but Pong remained unscathed, how do guys do that?!
The restaurant looked lovely – work was still being done to it but it overlooked the big river and the stunning banks with Luang Prabang quietly buzzing away on the other side.
After some more poster-ing, a doughnut pit-stop and lots of silliness, we wandered back to the hostel to round up the troops, slap on some eyeliner (Pong declined on this part) and lead 14 backpackers down the dark backstreet to the bamboo bridge. I was quite surprised that everyone was willing to cross the bridge as it was now pitch black and the bridge still lay unfinished. With two small torches (I was pretty well prepared) we guided everyone up to the restaurant to find all the staff drunk, not thinking they would get any customers that night. But they were so friendly and none of us were in a rush so we squeezed round the low tables on silk cushions and causally enjoyed Beer Lao, or in my case, Margaritas, and Pong ordered a selection of Lao dishes for us all to sample.
The food was delicious, the company great and the margaritas delicious.
Coming back down the hill and across the bridge was surprisingly easier with some dutch courage in my tummy.
We nipped to The Hive Bar for a night cap and left the others to go bowling while John, Pong and I fell asleep watching a dvd. Apparently I snore?!