Today we visited the TAEC museum about Laos tribes and the clothing they wear- which was fascinating. Some information that captured my attention:
- Girls start collecting silver for their headdress from the age of 12 and continue to add to it. The headdresses are even worn to work and when bathing.
- A women's clothes are all she takes to a marriage. They are an advertisement for her wifely skills in creativity, patience and diligence.
- The tribes of Laos marry outside of their own tribe and each new year a party is held where most people will meet their partners. Special outfits are made in the months prior to this.
- Long ago a handmade ornately beaded piece of fabric held the same worth as a buffalo.
I didn't take any photos inside but here is a cute dog from outside.
We also went to the National Museum which didn't cater well to an international audience with labels such as 'bed' 'urn' 'chair' which were quite uninspired. The cabinets with gifts from other countries were the most entertaining most had given silverware or ceramic. Australia gave a boomerang. America gave a bit of the moon.
Here is my best British tourist outfit outside the museum:
We checked out of our hostel (which we were never asked to pay for) and got aboard a local '6' hour bus to Vang Vieng.
The journey took close to 9 hours. That bus had four wheels but not much else.
We stopped loads for the bus driver to get a flashlight out and check the engine. Each time we went round a corner the entire tin can vibrated like a washing machine on full spin. If the driver wasn't accelerating the engine cut out and we just coasted until we were half way up a hill and about to roll back down again. Then he'd start the engine again.
At one stop seemingly in the middle of nowhere at 10pm half the bus got off and bought their weekly groceries. As we were conversing about a boy and his two bags of cabbages Dan exclaimed with dismay:
"What has that man got. What has he got!? ...
-Its a bird in a cage.
That man has bought a bird in a cage...
Yep. Just store that in the foot well"
At this point I got the serious giggles. We began to realise that we'd stopped acknowledging unusual things that if we were at home would be outrageous. For example I was sat outside a cafe today when a boy of about 8 in school uniform drove his motorbike through the regular sized doorway and left it in front of the counter.
This managed to lift our spirits enough to get us through the next few hours.