Tag Archives: vientiane

The Best-Laid Plans…

26 Mar

<a Cake display, Scandinavian Bakery, Vientiane, Laos

Not, actually, a piece of cake, after all

We have hot-footed it — well, night-bused it — back from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, with a sleeper train to Bangkok ahead of us tonight, in quest of the elusive Myanmar visa.

Whether because of Z’s performance in the embassy last time around (unlikely) or a verifiable and undeclared, though undistinguished and utterly apolitical, track record in UK journalism (likely), politically undesirable Facebook friends (possible), trigger-happy blogging (unlikely, but you never know), or the latest junta-unfriendly act of our own dear government (highly likely) our visa applications have been kicked upstairs. Or, rather, back home. Continue reading

The Pocket Diplomat

23 Mar

Z at the dividing line on the Vietnam-Laos border

The Thin Red Line.

Whatever our struggles with formal schooling, Z’s certainly learning a lot as we travel. And he sure does choose his moments to show it.

We are literally halfway between Vietnam and Laos, him ceremonially straddling the red line dividing the Laotian end of the (small) bridge from the Vietnamese end, about three stamps and five sets of uniformed officials into the border-crossing process, when he pipes up.

“Mum,” he says. “Vietnam and Laos are both communist, authoritarian states, aren’t they? Which one is worse?” Continue reading