Between the body painter’s schedule, the intricacies of Lao visas, and foot problems, it looks like I’ll be in Bangkok for most of the upcoming week. which is good since it will let me catch up on some writing…I’m working on a couple of essays which need time to coalesce. So I am taking a several day vacation from vacationing.
I also have a photo of the origami crab I folded for my diving instructor, which unfortunately doesnt’ do the thing justice. I couldn’t find origami paper in Bangkok (yet) but I did find aluminum foil and tissue paper…so I bought a glue stick and made some tissue foil–one of the best media for curved origami models. The tissue paper is actually quite nice–dark blue with silver threads, the other side is a textured sky blue. I wish I’d memorized more origami models before I left–the only ones I have memorized are the blue crab, a pegasus, an elephant, a coin box, and a few very simple models like the crane. Origami is a nice portable craft (good for gifts), but the books are murder to carry. Oh well. Elephants and crabs will have to do.
Nothing desperately wrong with the foot; I seem to have strained a tendon in the arch of my left foot, so I’m going to see if I can find an English-speaking podiatrist today. Also see about getting a Lao visa; because I have limited time, I think I’m going to do just one of Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos first, and since I like the textiles I think I’ll make it Laos.
This promises to be quite an adventure since Laos is, um, missing a lot of infrastructure. Banditry is apparently still a problem on some major highways, roads are very poor, hotels are nonexistent, poor, and/or expensive, electricity is described as “an accident waiting to happen”,…This kind of worries me, but I figure I’ll get the visa, then go to the Thai border crossing town and stay in a guesthouse there for one or two days–since they live on Laos-bound visitors, they’ve got to know something about travel in Laos. I may also try to hook up with some other travelers–apparently it’s recommended, to save money, and is also marginally safer. At the very least, officials out to extort bribes/levy bogus “fines” will likely charge groups less (per per person) than individuals. (Yes, I did say an adventure.)
laos isn’t supposed to have much in historical sites et al, but since I”m really interested in the weaving, this doesn’t bother me. I’m reading through the guidebook today…on the way to the podiatrist, if I can find one, and also to American University, where I hope to get a Thai tutor.