When we weren't observing the grotesque spectacle at our hostel, we were out walking miles down a dusty, dirt road beneath jungle mountains and alongside rice paddies and fields of cows. We dodged speeding caravans of aged Korean tourists flying by on some perverse form of a SE Asian snowmobile (dirtmobile?). We were all happy to note that for once in our lives, Americans weren't necessarily the ubiquitously obnoxious tourists. Thanks Korean grandmothers and grandfathers!
I've probably told you before that there are a LOT of dogs in Laos. Some of them I like, but most of them I don't. And I love dogs. My daily encounters with dogs looks something like this: 3:20am stupid-barking-asshat-dog-that-lives-next-door wakes me up by barking for no goddamn reason. 7:00am On the way to school kujo-neighbor-dog chases me half-halfheartedly down the street and I nearly have a heartattack and run over a small gaggle of monks out on their morning alms giving. 4:30pm I walk past possibly-rabid-dog-with-mange on my way to the gym and avoid eye contact. Riding home at 7:00 pm, I slow down at a certain corner so that evil-neighbor-dog decides that I'm too boring and slow to chase.
Anyway, this ain't no Beppo land. But in Vang Vieng, we made such a special dog friend!
This is Honey:
Honey vetting out a suspicious character:
Pre cow attack:
Yep, Honey was undeniably special. Erica and I had resorted to closing our eyes whenever another Honey-Actual Dog encounter occurred. We felt so attached to this little dirty mass of fur and neither Erica nor I could fathom witnessing Honey getting mauled, although we felt it inevitable. Our peaceful walk had turned into a very stressful situation, our own safety compromised by the snarling territorial Actual Dogs who would follow us past their property growling in outrage over Honey's antics. Honey was a liability. Oblivious to the real world, she trotted along happily, eyeing her surroundings to find her next adventure, her next territory to gleefully pillage and burn as her human companions shrank in embarrassment. It was so clear that she was with us. After one misadventure off into the bramble to chase someone's pigs, Honey returned covered in mud and with sharp bramble caught in her long hair and cutting her skin. We spent 10 minutes crouched on the road, gently removing the sharp thorn and stick from Honey as she smiled happily in her Otto's arms. I literally have no idea how a creature such as Honey has survived so long in the world without an ounce of survival instinct.
We reached our destination; the Blue Lagoon after a 7 km walk. The blue lagoon is one of the biggest tourist landmarks in Vang Vieng and consists of a beautiful blue natural pool with zip lines, swings, swimming, and drunk tourists. We sat at a picnic table with coconut shakes, Honey sitting on our feet below, like a real dog for once, exhausted and covered in mud, excrement, and parts of trees from all her adventures. At this point, we had accepted the fact that Honey was our dog now, and we were responsible for all of the horrible things that would happen to her in the future. We were dreading our long walk home, wherein it seemed inevitable that Honey would finally get mauled by a real animal.
Honey was very resistant to jump into his mom's minivan and leave us:
Me in the cave:
On our peaceful long walk back to the abusive innkeeper, we saw some beautiful sights during the magic hour in Lao.