I got to Ubon and Ting showed me around a bit, and got me settled in a hotel. "We go to Lao with my friends tomorrow," she said. Ok. My first impression was that Ting was kind of crazy, but in a good way. That's still my impression.
She picked me up early the next morning and we headed for the hospital to pick up her two friends--Nich and Malida. We got on the bus and headed to Pakse. I sat next to Malida on the bus and we talked about stuff. I showed her some of my pictures.
Laos was pretty cool. Pakse sits right on the Mekong. There are lots of waterfalls and other things to see, and the food was good. We had a driver and a van, and took day trips all over.
A picture of all of us at one of the waterfalls. From left to right, Ting, Malida, Nich, and me. Nice now lives in Canada, and Ting now lives about 20 minutes away from us. She's the one who moved here last year and got married to the pilot.
After we came back from Laos, we drove out to a temple on the Thai-Cambodia border for the day--Preah Vihear, which has since been closed as the result of a border dispute between the two countries. Malida and I pretty much hung out together the whole day. She was pretty quiet, but was chatty in the car on the way home, and kept saying things to me in Thai, and then laughing.
I wrote in my journal: "Malida is an ICU nurse, just like me. We sat together on the bus to Lao, and got to talk about all sorts of things. We kind of hit it off, and spent pretty much the entire weekend flirting in the way you can do when you know nothing will come of it because you live thousands of miles apart."
Malida at one of the waterfalls.
I closed my journal entry that day with these words: "I'm in love! Haha--not really, but wow!
She is so sweet!"