The last thing I know I was smiling and laughing on our short excursion to the Blue Lagoon, and the next thing was, I was a sick, sick dog cat (well, I rather called myself a cat than a dog).
We were about to depart from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang when I sensed something was amiss. As I was packing my stuff I felt a slight light-headedness, followed by a strong urge to vomit. I ran for toilet and emptied the content of my stomach straight into the white porcelain (apologize readers, I know it’s gross). But it didn’t get better. Sudden pangs of abdominal pain crept in and I rushed to the toilet again for another spillage before limping back to bed, exhausted. This went on for several times, that by the time we boarded the minivan to Luang Prabang I almost drained every fluid in me and I was flaccid like some wilted, dry veggie.
With the sickness plaguing me, I dreaded the long journey to Luang Prabang. Will I survive the 6-hour drive of a bumpy, hairpin road when I couldn’t even stand straight and not puke? What if I need to use the toilet, which I’d been frequented like every 5 minutes now and it was totally beyond my control? With trepidation of humiliating myself, I gulped in the last anti-diarrhoea tablet (which fortunately I always take with me during travel) with some Gatorade before jumping into the minivan. The seat by the window was unoccupied and it was a blessing. At least I got a spot to lean and sleep throughout the journey, and the window was accessible for fresh air should I feel dizzy or whenever there’s need to throw up.
The journey to Luang Prabang was not so much of a fun ride; the road bumps, twists and turns as the bus steered the mountain slopes – churning the stomach and reeling of head. It was such a boring ride that our driver amused himself by running into every pothole he could spot on like some kiddo’s whack-a-mole game. Five points if you could hit it right into a cavity; ten if you do it while speeding! Luckily I didn’t embarrass myself (like vomiting in front of others or crapping in my pants) despite the numerous jerking, braking and cornering – partly because I was asleep most of the time (the side effects of the medication, thank god) which was a shame since the landscape of northern Laos is astonishingly beautiful, and partly because we stopped for toilet breaks about a dozen times. And it had become my routine to make a run for it every time we stopped.
The serene landscape of northern Laos.
The road where we came from.
The long, winding road from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, cutting through Laos’ mountain range – what a lonely journey!
I felt like I’d slept for hours since our last stop when DH woke me up for another break, and this time it was by a beautiful valley of greens. The vista was superb; rugged mountains stretched as far as the eyes could see, teeming with cute and colourful little flowers wriggling in the breeze. The view cheered me up and it worth all the troubles. It was so beautiful and serene that I felt better by just breathing its fresh air, but the nasty growl in my stomach reminded me for another toilet trip. And what a surprise it had for me. Who could expect a toilet with a view!
Having been brought up in an environment that emphasizes modesty and good manners I was a bit reserved in an open toilet concept, although I was pretty sure no one could see me doing my business in such a remote place. But the twisting pain in my stomach was getting worse by the minute that I was left without a choice. And the pretty view was undeniably stimulating.
So there I was – on my throne, smiling.
Well, all the breath-taking views of the valley as per the photos above were taken from here – while I was doing my business.