Ivan, Jennifer and I woke up on January 8, 2009. Isaac cooked Ivan and Jennifer an omelette with a piece of bread. I had a banana with a few crackers. We headed out the door to find a tuk-tuk.
Our first stop was COPE. It stands for Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise. It’s free entry for humans and animals. It tells stories about people in Laos who have been affected by bombies. During the Vietnam War, if a plane didn’t bomb a place in Vietnam, there were places to bomb in Laos. Laos is the country with the most unexploded bombs – this number runs in the millions. COPE provides victims with prosthetics and devices for mobility. We watched a documentary on bombies.
There was also an interview with the parents of a child who was killed from a bombie. It was really sad. There were also displays of bombies and prosthetic legs.
We walked around to find a place for lunch. We sat down at Nok Noy. Ivan and Jennifer started off with a laap salad. I ordered a nice fried banana dessert. Jennifer’s main course was the crispy noodles with chicken. Ivan got the vermicelli noodles. The food was alright.
We stopped by the Pha That Luang. It’s a golden Buddhist temple. Valerie said that the light shines off the temple at sunset. We weren’t there for the sunset though.
It was a nice place. I liked the fact that the temple was golden. Outside the temple Ivan met a photographer. He was doing a project that focused on backgrounds. The subject in the photo would be wearing a mask. Ivan was chosen to wear a mask and get photographed. The result was rather funny.
We took a tuk-tuk to Wat Sok Pa Luang. There’s a herbal sauna and massage establishment next to the Wat. It’s in a wood house area. You’re asked to take off your clothes and put on a long silk cloth. They had a small monkey-sized one just for me! Ivan and I ordered a banana shake. Jennifer decided to go with a mango shake.
The herbal sauna is a small room. Ivan opened the door and all we could see is steam. It was sweltering hot inside. We sat down with guidance from a person inside. It was hard to see through the steam. It did smell really nice inside. It was definitely the hottest sauna Ivan and Jennifer had been in before. This was my first time and it was a little unbearable. I think it was in my mind, but I found it a little hard to breathe after being inside for so long. We went outside to drink our shakes. The shakes were delicious.
We decided to give the sauna another go. It was still really hot inside.
We came outside and waited for a massage. There were no monkeys available – so I received a massage from a small Lao girl. She was quite gentle. Ivan and Jennifer really enjoyed their massage. Jennifer’s masseuse pulled her arms and made something crack. It sounded painful! Our massages made us feel great.
We went back to Isaac and Valerie’s house. We wanted to see if they had eaten dinner already. We got a tuk-tuk to the Japanese restaurant Yulala Cafe. We all ordered something from the menu. Jennifer got the chef to make me a yummy banana salad. Isaac, Valerie, Jennifer and Ivan had some great dishes. Their favorite was tofu in a tomato sauce. Another good one was the chicken cutlets – which was a big portion of four cutlets.
For dessert, we got two chocolate cakes with ice cream on top. I tried some of the cake, even though it didn’t have bananas. It was actually quite good. Ivan and Jennifer really enjoyed the meal at the Yulala Cafe.
We went back to Isaac and Valerie’s house. Isaac, Ivan and Valerie were on the laptops. I listened to Ivan’s iPod. Jennifer was reading. Isaac made a few hot tots. It is hot tea with whiskey. Ivan and Jennifer liked it. Shortly, we said good night and went upstairs to sleep.