I’ve just woken up in the 12-person Hostel dorm. Apart from no longer being spoilt with our own bathroom, it’s surprisingly fine here. The beds are SO spacious and have blackout curtains, so I slept pretty well.
We arrived yesterday, into the absolute chaos that is Buddhist New Year. It’s traditional for locals to descend onto the streets for HUGE waterfights, so it’s impossible to go outside without becoming absolutely soaked. They let us get to our Hostel fairly dryly; maybe they thought better of soaking someone with their entire possessions on their back. But after that, we spent the rest of the day dripping, watching the festivities from the safety(ish) of a bar.
We’re RIDDLED with mosquito bites. It’s agonising/itchy/infuriating all at the same time. It’s strange, we barely got any in Thailand or Northern Laos, but literally since getting the bus here it’s like they’ve picked us as the fresh meat and told all their friends. It actually started ON the bus which is even stranger; I got off after the 4 hours with at least 10 bites on each leg. There must have been loads of bugs on the bus yuck.
So far we’ve spent most of our time going to lovely coffee shops (of which, there are many), wandering around the city, and napping. Unfortunately I’m still suffering from this virus (day 10), hence the napping, but I went to a hospital today to get some treatment so hopefully I’ll be all good again soon. Hopefully.
Vientiane is quite a charming city. For a capital, it’s pretty small, but has some really interesting buildings and parks.
We went to an Italian Cafe for dinner this evening. It was incredible. Its run by two Swiss guys, and their pasta is made fresh. I was starting to get a bit sick of noodles and rice (I didn’t know that was possible), but we were just craving something different, and this had really good reviews. We were not disappointed. We even got free focaccia, AND they had actual parmesan from Italy. It was emotional, at one point Elliot actually looked like he was on the verge of tears.
Visas sorted, flight booked for tomorrow and a lovely looking hotel booked in Hanoi. I’m BUZZING to get out of this dorm. The actual dorm is fine, but I’m excited to have our own bathroom and personal space again. I need to shave my legs, cut my nails, exfoliate my feet, wash my hair and treat my face to a mask and it’s just so difficult doing any of those things in a rank shower (in which I don’t dare take off my shoes) which is shared between 24 people. I’m excited to get out of the shower and not have to put clothes on immediately and then scramble about on my bed trying to moisturise in a confined space; and I’m also excited for my feet to not be constantly black, with questionable bits of fluff and debris all over them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved Vientiane, but staying in a dorm has taught me not to take privacy for granted, and that people are annoying and inconsiderate.