Big fat rush in the cat's last afternoon + evening in Luang Prabang...
Meeting the most un-Hmong Hmong at the Big Brother Mouse office, who would become the most articulate & outspoken of all the cat's Lao friends.
A 'request' to try & hunt down a cousin of Reebok Cap & 3-day-old monk when the cat arrives in Chiangrai city, with the barest of details - monosyllabic nickname probably shared by hundreds of thousands of Lao & Thai guys, lives in a 'Wat Pha something', no address, no contact number.
Mistaking Hmong novice's scrawny 14 y/o brother for an 8 y/o as he whacked with all his might the temple bell that probably weighs as much as he does.
Advice + warnings about Pak Beng from Monk TYF - a few from his village have worked there before, plus a few addicts in his village have resorted to stealing stuff from fellow villagers to sell & fund their habit.
Saying goodbyes, & trying to tell Monk TYF, 3-day-old monk & others that more conservative local lay people might find the sight of a group of monks & novices seeing a girl off at the boat landing rather unusual & maybe even inappropriate.
Meeting the artist behind this book at another section of Big Brother Mouse, & learning that 'oo' in Hmong is pronounced exactly like 'ong' in Chinese, not knowing that 3 years later someone else would give the cat a Hmong name containing this very syllable & the same clan name as the artist.
Gift for Mdm Vandara - the cat's solution to long hours of waiting for & on buses & boats in Laos, completed in Pak Mong:
Wee hours of 301206 - last view of Phou Si (upper right) glowing above the town in darkness, as seen from outside the cat's room:
3 years later, when the cat stayed here again, it would do the same thing - stand at the balcony & take in this view in silence, in the still of the night.
end of day 13 (291206):
noodle soup/pho/feu/khaaw soi eaten to date = 09 bowls
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