Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

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Monday, February 12, 2007

My night out with Walter

Saturday night we went to L'Elephant for dinner. Excellent, as always. The buffalo steak just as I remember it.

Before dinner, Alex and Walter left Eva with Vone for a few hours and took a boat up the Mekong to the Buddha Cave. Katherine and I have been 2 and 3 times, respectively, so we decided to stick around town and relax. So while I got my massage Katherine napped with Jack, and when she got hers I went for a long walk through town with Jack.

After dinner, Katherine and Alex called it a night. Walter and I decided our night was not quite over, so we ambled over to the backside of Mt. Phousi and grabbed a table at the Lao Lao Garden. The beer was cold and the christmas cheer in full effect.

Last call means that the town is closing down. Midnight rolls around and the sidewalks are rolled up. There is a spot that stays open, however. A bowling alley just outside of town. There used to be another after hours place called Vietnam Bar, but that has closed for some reason.

Walter and I decided to go, then decided to just buy a few beers and go sit by the river. Beers purchased, we changed our minds again and headed to 'boe-ling' with a bag of beers. We distributed the beer to the tuk-tuk drivers hanging around outside and headed in. The young Lao and tourist folk were out in force.

Walter had skills, but I beat him quite handily. Easy to do when he bowled a 56. Although the woman next to him was pretty psyched about her 8. 8!!! That calls for a fist pump.

Our night of bowling done, we headed back to the hotel, getting a good price from a driver who was an earlier beneficiary of our Beer Lao diplomacy. We decided, okay Walter decided, we needed to head to the riverbank for a bit before calling it a night. Problem was, we picked a staircase to the river that ended after six stairs. Beers in hand, first Walter, then I, tumbled into the abyss. We emerged later with a sore elbow (Walter) and ripped pants (me) and a healthier respect for darkness and steep riverbanks.

While not exactly the same as our night out in Seoul way back when, it was similar in spirit. Two guys a bit past their prime (well, partying prime, anyway) acting like the kids that they aren't anymore.

We paid for it the next day.

And I have to throw away my favorite pair of pants.


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