Wednesday, September 6, 2017

One Rainy Day in Luang Prabang

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It rained all day, a languorous drizzle that invited sleep. Abandoning our plan to ride a kayak down the river, we remained at the inn and allowed the unhurried pace of Luang Prabang cast a spell over us.

Over an hour-long breakfast of homemade jam, baguettes, tropical fruits, Lao omelette, and endless cups of coffee, we had fun recalling the various experiences we’ve had in the past week: that rain-soaked morning we went temple hopping; crossing that shaky bamboo bridge over Nam Khan River to have a taste of the best sindad (Lao barbecue) in town; the magnificence of the multitiered Kuang Si Falls cascading into turquoise pools amid a tropical rain forest; that roadside stand with the friendly cook where we get our dinner every single night; being lulled to sleep by the trumpet of elephants. On our first day in this ancient town, D, puzzled, asked me, “Why did we come here? Why did you choose this place? There’s nothing to see.” After a week in town, he got his answer. You go to Luang Prabang for its atmosphere, not its attractions.

The inn's library
We retreated into the seclusion of the inn’s library where a shelf full of battered paperbacks, 20-year old National Geographic magazines, and travel guides all over the world beckoned. I felt a jolt of pure joy when I saw Elena Ferrante’s first Neapolitan novel My Brilliant Friend sandwiched between Frank Herbert’s Dune and William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns. I picked it up and curled up in one of the rattan chairs, with D beside me already engrossed in his book. We sat there for hours, absorbed in our books, unconcerned with the pesky insects that tried our patience, the relentless heat, and the ambient noise of the ceiling fan.

I saw dark, menacing clouds looming over the mountains, but they are powerless in concealing the beauty of the tropical jungle that surrounded us.


windmill said...

You make it real.

Angeli said...

Thank you, @windmill. :)

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