Wish you were hereOctober 17, 2016

The locals were wondering about what I was reading on my iPad. They ordered bowls of noodles, while I settled on a sandwich. Darren couldn't believe that politicians needed bigger pensions, while Mark would admit that he don't know the right way of folding a (fitted) sheet. My flatmates didn't tell me about spring time in Gold Coast, but I figured that I knew it. My family and I were told about the weather in Luang Prabang, and we brought our rain-proof jackets. The sun greeted us, and there were clouds on the horizon. It was a cloudless sky a few days later.

We went to the night market, where Mum couldn't get her eyes off the fluffy pairs of embroidered slippers. Our neighbor told us that this was THE souvenir item that we must not miss. And she liked the illustrations of elephants on it. Dad was staring at the odd collection of plush toys, which resembled characters from Tim Burton's early films. Speaking of cinema, there was supposed to be a film festival on the nearby court. I presumed that the locals (and tourists) were more interested in the items (for sale).

Mark asked me about Laos, as he planned to travel around Indochina on his own. It was hard to tell, as Luang Prabang was a small town by the river. There was a section of the community that my parents managed to spend more time on it. There were colonial houses, and my folks might be reminded of the books (that they studied during their younger years). It might be the same case with me, as I learned about the authors in Modern literature during my first year. Alas, Joseph Conrad was a fleeting thought. Virginia Woolf didn't come to mind. I don't know about E. M. Forster. I was curious about the original owners of his restored houses. I could imagine their apparent sense of isolation, as mountains hugged this small town. It would make it a perfect getaway.

Dr. Siri is not here

Elephants waded through an emerald pool below Tad Sae Falls, the sight of which reminded me of Colin Cotterill's books. Kyle read his mysteries series, which was set in Laos. I was impressed, as he managed to find the time for other books. Then again, the mystery was his favorite genre. (If he liked it, then he would find a way.) Dad couldn't decide if he wanted to take a plunge while Mum was looking at the revelers. We have been here for two hours or more, and elephant riding would be out of the question. (My mother would feel for the elephants, but she knew about the state of this nation.) We don't mind the noise.

"The Elephant's Journey" passed my mind. Jose Saramago's book was a tale of friendship and adventure, but the message would be lost in this part of the world. This animal was a ubiquitous figure, which the Buddhist followers held in high esteem. The elephant may be a deity in animal form. It could be prosperity if one would look at the belly. I would see halos above those happy heads while their passengers enjoyed the wet ride.

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