Tag Archives: giant snake

We interrupt this week…

We interrupt this week of humanitarian work stories to bring you a public service announcement…

OK, not to bring you a public service announcement at all. To complain, basically. And also to bring you another picture of a snake, since everyone seems to love those. I am totally bewildered to find new snake related search terms bringing strangers to that post about Phoukhoun every day. Here are some of the highlights from the last week:

  • giant snake lao
  • massive snake
  • laosnake
  • giant snake in electric fence
  • giant snake bites electric fence (who comes up with these searches, and how bored are people???)
  • giant snake in amazon

No one is asking for my blogging tips, but here are two pieces of free advice – advice I bet you won’t find on the thousands of websites that do regularly offer blogging tips. If you want more traffic to your blog:

  • Write about big snakes.
  • And, toilets usually go down well, too.

Without further ado, here is what my mama emailed me this morning. Dad found him in the shed yesterday. They have named him Bruce. I think, from looking at him, that he’s the harmless kind (not the brown snake kind) so they probably just let him be in hopes he’d help keep the mice and rats under control. (Gee, Mum and Dad’s place is sounding better and better, isn’t it?)

They also sent me a picture of yesterday’s double rainbow, which made me totally homesick [sidenote: here comes the complaining] because yesterday was a 9.5 on the sucky scale. The woodworkers over the back fence have been at it for days now, from 8am to 5pm, with their electric sanders and their hammers and it’s driving me mental. I manage to hold it together OK during most days, and then I’m grumpy and exhausted when Mike comes home (because that’s rational and fair). It is illegal to do what they’re doing within city limits, so I had been holding out hope that city council would tell them to stop when we amassed enough data. But last night we got word that, “yes, there were laws, but… this is Asia, see” and “they are only trying to make a living.” This may not stop.

Now I know that some small part of me should be celebrating this as a triumph of small business, or lauding them for doing honest work instead of being out breaking into people’s houses.

But, yeah, after six days of this… not feeling it. Not feeling it at all.

And, to top it all off, just when I was trying to get to sleep last night at 10:30, karaoke started. Very loud karaoke. It went on until long after midnight. Long after I’d resorted to Ambien.

So I’d take the rats and snakes and mice at Mum and Dad’s place right now. That and their rainbows.   

But I’m going to put this up and go get some breakfast and sigh deeply and try again to find a way to block out the awful high-pitched shrieking from next door and get back to humanitarian work-week. Because I have a post today to write about a sick kiddo and a complicated situation, and then I have a bunch of work to do for a project in London.

May Your Day Be Silent.

(And if that’s not an official blessing in any faith tradition, it should be).

Photos from Phoukhoun, and a word about snakes

Today, here is a gallery of twelve photos from our trip to Phoukhoun last week.

Things that I didn’t take a photo of, but wish I had:

  1. The hot water heater in our bathroom at the guesthouse (that’s right, people, hot water heater. Hooray for hot water heaters!)
  2. The (very good, actually) piles of barbecue goat we ate for dinner.
  3. The big piece of intestine I accidentally picked up (and very stealthily fed to the dog underneath the table. Hooray for dogs!)
  4. The candles we were given to light our way when we reached the guesthouse after all that goat and discovered that the electricity was out. (Candlelight on a cool evening in the mountains makes everything feel like a story. Hooray for candlelight!).

And, finally, here’s a photo I didn’t take, but which stopped me in my tracks. It was taken up in the north of Laos. (So was a picture of what was left of the poor guy inside this snake, which I’m not going to show you.)

I have seen plenty of big snakes, but I’ve never seen one this big.

On the way back to Luang Prabang on Friday night we made a toilet stop at a small beer garden. The men, of course, could just wander into the dark by the side of the road. As Mike says, they are boys and the world is their bathroom.

I, however, had to be escorted to the sole toilet by a seven year old carrying a flashlight. Down the muddy path by a big pond we went, and up a small hill to a tin shed (where, I am a little ashamed to say, I took the torch and left the child standing alone in the dark, waiting for me to do my business).

“Khamsan’s ruined my peace of mind with that picture of the snake,” I said, a little crossly, as I climbed back into the car three minutes later. “All I could think about in the toilet was snakes.”

“It’s nice of you to blame that all on Khamsan,” Mike said, “seeing as how you stood there staring at that photo for a full minute, and then borrowed my flash drive to copy it. Besides, that snake wouldn’t have fit in that toilet, not even close.”

“It would have fit in the pond though,” I said. “It definitely could have been swimming around in that pond like a giant Lao Ness Monster.”

“I really don’t think it would choose the fishpond of a beer garden to live in,” Mike said. “Especially not one right beside the main road linking Vientiane to the north of Laos.”

“I might live in a beer garden if I were a snake,” I said.

“Well, then,” Mike said, “around here you’d be a dead snake.”

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