Monday, July 23, 2012

Laos via Bangkok via Seoul

So I made it from one capitol to the next. DC to Vientiane. It took some doing. I have to say, I'm impressed with Korea Air, and very grateful for the toothbrush and paste they provided. I had expected that I would be getting my checked bags in Bangkok with my overnight and airline switch there-but they pushed them through for me. Which was convenient except I had checked ALL of my toiletries to make security easier. The little slippers they also included made me laugh, but people really used them!

My sense of time during that flight was totally off. All I know is we took off after lunch one day woke for two meals, neither of which was breakfast-y, slept most of the time, watched movies the rest of the time, and got to Seoul at dinner time the next day. I had a very short time in the airport there but learned some interesting things. First being the Etiquette Bell present in the women's restrooms. It looks like this:


I wanted to push it. I chickened out, but knew I would be Google-ing it later. It's pretty much what I thought it would be-it makes a flushing sound to mask any unpleasant sounds coming from your stall. Seriously, doesn't this tell you so much about there culture right there!

I also learned that neighbors who peek at your boarding pass can prove incredibly helpful. I knew I would be a little rushed to get to my next flight at the Seoul airport, but didn't expect to have to go through additional security! My neighbors pushed me to the front, cutting in front of a bunch of people (none of whom protested thankfully), and I made it just in time.

My overnight in Bangkok proved interesting. I knew the hotel had a shuttle, but to find it I walked around with my print-out from the travel agency who had claimed to book the place for me showing it to the masses of hotels and people searching for arrivals (this airport was packed!). Once I found the right man, I wasn't on the list, but he put me on since I had my print-out. The hotel didn't have me on there either -travel agency fail- Luckily, they had an open room for me after waiting while phone calls were made to make sure they hadn't received payment from the agency-which they hadn't. I did find a surprise in the Thai restrooms as well.

Luckily I found some toilet paper, but this is also the set up here in Laos, and I wasn't as lucky while out exploring today...somehow that wasn't mentioned in anything I read before leaving...ANYway, there was some funky food on the plane. Mostly meat and rice, but also a tub of tofu with some soy-based sauce, yeah, couldn't muster much of that. I had been seriously hoping it was a type of custard or pudding. I was so, so wrong. There was also this rice/gelatin based, bright blue with brown frosting topped with some stringy orange stuff dessert that looked like cake...but really wasn't. It was a fearful sight, and I could only get down a couple bites.

My apartment is really great. This is the view from my window.

And from my rooftop garden:

And my wandering today took me to these other cool temples.

There are two tiny Buddhas  in each of the little alcoves. I hope this satisfies you all for a bit. I'll try to keep this updated more!