Special Guest Contribution

And now a joke from Twitter fan @Lets_Wanderlust

Q. Which ancient Roman had hay fever?
A.  Julius Sneezer!

See you next time!

First Time Cavers

Laos is an interesting place. Most people have never heard of it, and those that have only know it from “Khan Souphanousanphone”  from King of the Hill.  To some, this country is known as “the tubing capital of the world”. The country is replete with swift rivers, and here in Vang Vieng tubing is apparently the thing to do. We overheard one tourist the other day say “If there wasn’t tubing here, this town would be nothing!” Well, we aren’t very big fans of tubing and the partying that goes hand in hand with it, but one thing we did find in Laos that we weren’t aware was a big deal is caves.

Since we came here we have visited a few caves and they are amazing. Today we returned to a local cave called the Phu Kham caves.  The first time we went in, we forgot to bring our trusty torches with us, and had to hire a crappy one from a local vendor, as you can see in this video:

Soon thereafter I saw a spider and ran out of there like a bat out of hell, a bat that was on fire and flying very quickly, after having seen a huge spider in a pitch black cave.

Today we went for a second visit with a group of Canadian friends we met nearby. Luckily the Canadians had a few torches (flashlights to you Americans, not the things that usually come with pitchforks on a witch hunt) with them, and we came prepared with our trusty headlamps our friend Matt bought for us (thanks Matt!).

Ricky heading into the cave.

We entered the cave and within minutes we found ourselves past the entrance, with it’s natural light coming through to shine on the golden Buddha in the center, and deep into the darkness, the same point that Talia and I had gotten to last time. 

Ricky standing triumphantly with the Buddha in the center of the first cave.

I have never gone caving before and it was actually quite scary and extremely dark. We had enough torches between us to have a good sense of where the sharp stalagmites and rocks were.

See that green to the right? That's where Ricky and I are standing in the next picture...

Half the time we were in complete darkness and got separated from members of our group,  or had to force our way through narrow pathways along cliff edges with steep drops. It was pretty exciting!  We had to wade through a small tunnel with water in it and climb slanted rocks with no footholds. At some points we had to backtrack to avoid falling into deep chasms. 

We could hear sounds of water dripping somewhere around us, echoing  from what seemed like all around. We managed to make a full loop around the cave and re-emerged back where we had started after pushing our way through dark passages, water,  low ceilings and sharp rock.  We left the cave a little more scraped and wet and muddy than we were when we went in, but it was a really cool experience and very worth it.

And here we are! After the loop through the back of the cave!
I have to admit I really enjoyed our second outing and I would definitely like to do it again at some  point soon. In fact I know we will. There is one cave in central Laos which is 7km long in the pitch dark. We plan on visiting this cave on our journey. But another more permanent visitor to the cave is the world’s biggest (yes, the world’s biggest) spider.

It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out….

The Zen Master

A zen master is visiting New York City from Tibet. He goes up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."
 The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the zen master, who pays with a $20 bill. The vendor puts the money in the cash box and closes it.
"Where's my change?" the zen master asked.
The hot dog vendor responded "Change must come from within."

What do you think happened next?

Watch your step

Watch your step!
By Ricky
This is a true story

It was about seven pm as the sun had just set over Luang Prabang. The sky had just been covered in a blueish black blanket and the night market was reaching full swing. This was our first evening at the night market and we were taking in the fresh sights, sounds, smells etc. Children were running around playing and laughing around our feet while their parents were a ways behind bartering and examining their  potential purchases

We had just had dinner and a walk through the night market was the perfect way to finish off the evening. The locals were selling their wares such as bracelets, books, cloths etc. We walked along staring at the stalls and people, when all of a sudden….


I felt my foot step on something about the size of a potato but hard and crunchy. I stopped in my tracks. I knew I didn’t want to know what I had just stood on but in these situations you can’t help but look. Talia had walked a ways ahead as  I slowly lifted up my foot.

And there it was. ….

A crab.

A dying crab.

I was confounded, as I watched this creature twitch in it’s last moments of life, about what the f**k a crab was doing on the main street of a major town in the middle of a night market. And that’s when I saw how it all came together…

…..It was wearing a leash.

It took a few seconds to compute what exactly was going on during which a small crowd had gathered with  a few people already in hysterics laughing. I followed the leash from the crab to a boy, who couldn’t be more than two or three years old, standing there.


With one forefinger in his mouth.

I thought I was in serious trouble with someone who would soon realize that I had killed this poor kid’s beloved pet crab, which was still lying in the gutter, upside down, twitching its remaining few legs. When I looked up, and saw the  parents of this kid standing next to him, barely able to stand with laughter.
I stood there for a moment with that dumb look on my face. When the kid simply continued along his merry way with this twitching dying crab dragging along behind him on a little string.

I should really be more careful!

Kissing the Blarney stone!

A group of Americans was touring Ireland. One of the women in the group was a real downer, constantly complaining: “The bus seats are uncomfortable! The food is terrible! It’s too hot! It’s too cold! The accommodation is awful!”
 Finally, the group arrived at the site of the famous Blarney Stone.
“Good luck will be following you all your days if you kiss the Blarney Stone,” the guide said. “Unfortunately, it is being cleaned today, so no one will be able to kiss it. Maybe we can come back tomorrow.”
“We can’t be here tomorrow!” the cantankerous woman shouted. “We have some other boring tour to go on, so we can’t kiss the stupid rock.”
“Well now,” the guide said with a smile,” it is said that if you kiss someone who has kissed the stone, you will have the same good fortune.”
“And I suppose you’ve kissed the stone,” the woman scoffed.
“No, miss,” the frustrated guide said.” But I’ve sat on it.” 

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