• Tara B. Vasi

Day 26: More floating down the Mekong… Cross boarder into Thailand, sculpt yo’self.

We wake up in the homestay. I am tangled in my mosquito net and have rolled off of my mat and onto the hard wood floor. My boob has escaped the wide arm pit hole of my magenta temple dress and my bare white bum is exposed. I am svetting.

My body is one big cramp, but I feel much better then the previous day. Oddly rested. Thank god. Was it the long long hike to the random dark hole at the top of the waterfall the day before? The Lao massage? Most likely dehydration. ITS ALWAYS DEHYDRATION! (Take this as a reminder to drink a glass of water, friend)

We met outside of the community center in the dark at 5am and get on the boat Immediatel. We will be floating all day. We plan to arrive at the Lao/Thailand border around 4pm and the new hotel in Chiang Khong around 5:30pm. Chiang khong is just a stopping point. There’s not much going on there.

I read some of fucking Eleanor Oliphant is fucking fine, draft up an important email, meditate with my Labby, enjoy the scenery, nap, and then I still have 8 hours to go. If only we had internet… maybe I couldn’t be without internet and by myself for a month... but for 1 mill? They serve us fried eggs and bread for breakfast, and fried rice with vegetables for lunch. We are allowed one cup of coffee, so I trade my egg for Kenny’s coffee. He’s a growing boy.

So much time on this boat, what do I do? I am so inclined to rush to be done with it, to anxiously await my destination. Maybe the motion sickness has to do with it a bit, but I consciously decide to relax my “are we fucking there yet?” impatient chatter, and simmer the hell down. After all, I have no where to be. No ones expecting me at certain time. I don’t need to put dinner on the table or run any errands. I don’t have to switch over laundry or prepare for work tomorrow. There is literally nothing more I could be doing. So, I sit and stare. I am on a boat in the Mekong River. I am allowed to just be… without internet…. I can do this… this is rad. Breath...

I find a set of twin bananas. And I love them.

We arrive at the dock around 4pm. Our boat crashes into a parked boat and a piece of the paneling shoots in towards the center of our boat. We gasp, but none of the crew seems to think its a big deal and I conclude that this sort of thing must happen pretty often. We just smashed right into the boat and then carried on! ha!

We take a van to the departure area of Laos immigration and then a van through “no mans land” to the Thailand border. No mans land is a fascinating place. Its like a black hole. I love the mystery of being nowhere, but right there, at the same time.

We get more stamps in our passport book. They take an imprint of my hand. They take my picture but when I smile the dude makes me do it again. Ah DMV style.

We load up into a new set of vans and head for our hotel. We arrive right on time. Seriously, right at 5:30pm. They assign rooms and hand out the wifi password like business cards, but way more important.

My roommate and I take turns taking full and thorough hot showers, cleaning away the dirt and grime from the boat, the homestay, and anything else from the last three days that layered onto our bodies. My blessing bracelets started to untie once wet, and I tried my best to keep them intact and in place. Maybe all the good heath and good luck blessings helped make me feel better today? I think so.

We decide to go to a buffet dinner at 7pm. No one needs a buffet dinner, ever. Its 200 baht or around $9 which makes me feel like I have to eat whatever I consider to be $9 worth of food.

To my surprise, they have mashed potatoes and I eat what I consider to be $9 worth of mashed potatoes.

The group starts taking tequila shots and kareoking (god even the word itself is annoying) and thats my cue to head back to the hotel, and my old lady friend, Bryony agrees and off we go. Sochea indirectly calls us lame, but we leave the party anyway. I steal two hot dogs that were a part of our buffet on the way out to feed to the stray dogs that seemed to be everywhere on the way to dinner. I surprisingly don’t see any on the walk back to the hotel, so leave them on a rock for the dogs to sniff out. One rolls off the rock and onto the ground but I stop it before it makes it into the sewer. I saved it. I hope the dogs don’t mind the dirt.

We are very excited to stop into the Thailand 711 and spend more then an adequate amount of time scanning the shelves for snacks for the bus ride the following day. My bus ride snack of choice has always been mixed nuts, so I search for some and buy a bag of almond and cashews. I treat myself to a chocolate strawberry ice cream (definitely not as good as the Fish or the Unicorn) and Bryony and I both get facemasks because hydrated skin is important to us.

Bryony gets the kind of mask that foams up and shares one with me. We both apply and giggle as the cream bubbles on our skin and turns into foam. We both look like Mrs. Doubtfire after she stuck her face in the cake. Woootawoooo

I exchange messages via Facebook with an old high school friend. She tells me she is overcoming her own trauma and appreciates my openness and honesty when writing my blog. I am pleased to hear she enjoys my writing because sometimes its just like I am droning on and on about random shit and I don’t even know if there is anyone listening…

This blog is for you, my friend, for all of you. Well, mostly for you, I do really like sarcastic storytelling and the narcissist in me loooooooves to talk about myself, buuuuuut, I am sharing my story, that’s it, this is my life, this is what I am going through and why fucking sugar coat it? Its pretty beautiful actually, a beautiful disaster. (In a good way) Yeah, I post yoga photos and travel photos on social media, but that only tells half of the story. Its not all namaste, rainbows, and unicorns over here, people.

I write not to rub my travel in your faces, but to inspire you to heal, to inspire you to be honest and open with your life struggles, and to do something about it If you’re not loving the path you are going down. Traveling for me, was my way of doing something about it. We all have parts of us we want to show to the world, and parts we want to keep hidden, but why? Why do we feel like having flaws makes us weak? Don’t let the society sculpt you into believing life doesn’t get dirty for everyone. Sometimes things don’t go how we expect, so what?

No one is all namaste, rainbows and unicorns, all the time. No one really knows what they are doing. Its ok to be complex and multifaceted. Its ok to be emotional. Its ok to be private. And its ok to talk to people about your struggles. You are not alone. I am here to listen, just like you have been there to listen to me. Life can be really hard sometimes, regardless of your income or your health or your past or your potential. Its not to late for you to carve out time for yourself and your healing process. You are both the sculptor and the sculpture. Nourish your bad ass self and sculpt yourself however you want to. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone other than yourself.


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