As I find myself typing out this piece for the interweb and the blogosphere, I'm reminded of the days when I was driving my borrowed Yamaha motorbike with my cheap, big, grey helmet and enjoying the evening ride with the sun setting softly allowing for a cooler breeze to blow through my body. A welcomed relief from the hot sun during much of the day. As the sun continued to set over the city, some streets would be fully lit up by artificial lighting and roadside barbeque fires by those selling evening dinner food. The delicious smell of barbecued chicken and the sweet spicy smell of papaya salad. All you'd need is some sticky rice and a bottle of Beer Lao to finish a meal like that. I eventually made my way to a quiet spot along the Mekong River to do something I had often done while visiting Laos and something you often read about in travel journals and books - that is, to sit and watch the sunset over the Mekong.
Is it cheesey for me to be so nostalgic about sunsets? Has it been written about a thousand times over by other travel writers? Perhaps so. But it still means something to me! So here I am sharing this with you.
I thought to myself how beautiful and calm it was. And I thought about how much I'd miss it all once I returned back to Canada. My sitting on the bench eventually became me laying down on my back. And my laying down on the bench staring up at the sky and the sun eventually lead to a brief evening nappy nap (as I call them). Now completely dark out, my nap was only to be awaken by the sound of crickets and random nose from the nearby temple. It was time to go home.
I would see many more unforgettable sunsets in Laos. For example, in another instance, while with a group of friends we actually got a little bit lost trying to find our way back home after adventuring to a forested former water park. I say former because it was no longer fully maintained as before. But in our meandering way to get home, it brought us through waterways, beautiful sandy forests and eventually rice fields and then an actual road. I can recall staring up at the big gorgeous but softly setting sun as we passed by all that scenery. Even though we were initially lost, I felt as though I had no care in the world and no worries. In fact, I didn't even feel annoyed that our driver (who was a friend of a friend) got us partially lost.
This is probably something I wouldn't have really thought I'd still be thinking about or miss as much as I do - the sunsets. Anyone else miss that or is it just me?
- Submitted by: VM