Saturday, April 26, 2008

Never a dull moment

Wrote this while in Bangkok... Am now in Dubai.. Hehe, strange place. I still think Singapore has a nicer airport! :) People here queue for everything!!! Muack. talk to u soon...

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I am transiting in Bangkok for the next few hours. I now know how the Bangkok airport works, eg. 1) They have the same transit set up at 2 ends of the airport. 2) Their cosmetics duty free is more expensive than Singapore and most of the international brands are found at the center of the terminal…I personally don’t like this airport, but learnt its conveniences and I believe I have checked out most if not all the eating places… Whenever I go to the money exchange, I almost feel like they have given me pocket money to eat.

So, I am enroute on my whirlwind visit to the land of the castles. I missed my frog, wanted to bum with him, hold his hand (or webbed feet for that matter) and decided that I will find a ticket to see him on a detour to my conference in Bangkok. This is however a very far detour, am currently on a 3 hour transit to Dubai which is 6 plus hours away, following that, will be in Dubai for 3 hours (quite exciting to see their airport! Haha), then off to Frankfurt after what I believe is a 7 hour flight to see frog and his tadpole. I told my father about it and today he messaged, “Peirong, are we going to see our frog today?” hehe, I love my father, he is so cool! He thinks his daughter is a bit mad but yet loves her through her mad endeavors… (his messages to her used to be Hallelujah etc, today, it was, will pray for His angels to protect you… haha… )

So, I am done with Laos for the next round. This time was rather intense. I visited 4 provinces in about 1 month, each time with a presentation as well as a forum, a platform for staff to speak. I still feel like I am a kid masquerading as an adult. When the staff talk to me about serious stuff like their salary and how their purchasing power has dropped, or when I have dinner with big government officials, I am like erm, sure, why not…

One of my highlights in my trip is the Lao New Year. I was in Luang Prabang, the most touristy place in Laos during this period of time. When I first arrived, I was positively stressed out because it has been a long week and I had numerous deadlines that I was trying to beat… Anyway, I extended my visit there to experience the Lao New Year and it was a rather strange surreal experience. The whole place kind of turned into a big Disneyland. Lao New Year is like Songkran, which doesn’t really mean anything until it happens to you. I have a half suspicion that Beer Lao invented this holiday as it really felt like merry people splashing water at each other just to check out the reaction of the other party. We sat in a tuk tuk together, think 9 people on a small tuk tuk pulled by a 250 cc bike… = super slow tuk tuk… As we travel down the road, we get splashed by water from our left, right, back, front… Sometimes unsuspectingly. Our first tuk tuk died cos water went into the engine and we had to change tuk tuk. Quite funny. J We watched the procession that led to the Wat and went there as well. Beautiful Wat, took many pictures and saw what was happening. I never cease to be amazed at how Buddhism is such a way of life that not being Buddhist is almost not being Lao, especially so in Luang Prabang. The economy, social events, even beauty pageant ( Miss Lao had the honor of being the first to water the Buddha…) are tied into their religion. As an individual working in a Christian NGO with a mission statement that reads “our mission is to follow our Lord Jesus Christ in walking with the poor…” how do I share our organization’s faith and be relevant and true? Anyway, questions that will not be sorted out in one day. So that was fun, night market shopping, Wat checking etc.

The down side to this trip must be getting really sick. Whenever I am pmsy, the immunity drops to a minimum and not sleeping enough or not having enough to drink is enough to make me really really sick. I was down and out for the whole weekend and couldn’t do anything besides lie in bed, watch some tv and talk a little. Not too fun…

It is now 111am and I am still waiting. I was sitting down with my hotdog in the food area when the guy beside me decides to serenade me… guess the song…. “sex bomb sex bomb, you’re my sex bomb….”!!! I tried really hard not to react just so he thinks that I don’t understand. He repeats himself again and again and started making funny sounds.. This is when I messaged my sister trying to look all serious. Hah. Strange Man. Bleah. Anyway, I decided to walk away and he found another target to talk to. He was telling her the languages he speaks, trying to impress her and make her laugh, or so I thought. Within minutes, I realize he has stopped talking to her and as I continued to observed, she was a Chinese national and did not understand him well. Muahaha.

Ok, I will sign off now. I am off to the land of castles and will drive to Austria and Switzerland. We stay near a lake (lake Constance) and I don’t know where else. Following that, I go back to Bangkok and continue with the organization of 2 relatively important Regional forums.. Never a dull moment indeed.