This morning I was in the lobby of the guesthouse when a lovely French woman appeared looking for a room. Unfortunately we were booked up. So I offered to walk down the street to where I had seen a room for rent sign and point it out. She accepted. I did. It was rented. I offered coffee. She accepted . And so began an amazing day that saw us part company for only a couple of hours.

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Later, I was sitting at Aussie Bar because the internet was down at my guesthouse. Wasn’t much better at Aussie Bar and I was frustrated trying to book a room at Vang Vien because every time I thought I had it, the internet would go out.

Then suddenly, on the corner not 20 feet away, Isabelle appeared again. And as she glanced my my way I said, “Hello again.” And….she joined me and we shared a beer and spent the next couple of hours strolling and chatting and looking at temples and having tea.

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There was an English couple and he has the same foot bandaged that has been giving me trouble and when he told me how his foot became injured, I suddenly remembered when I injured mine on the motorbike in Thailand. Then he chatted for a moment with Isabelle in French. Later she said his French was perfect without a trace of foreign inflection. I asked if he had said where he learned it and she replied that he had lived in France for forty years. I said “Well, Duh !”…..and then had to explain that comment. LOL

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We took a shortcut through a walkway that passed from a temple to a food court on an adjoining street.  Some chickens ran out in front of us and several were males and she commented on  how many **** were running around and I almost swallowed my tongue !   I said WHAT ? and she said  ” Hmmm what do you call them ? ” I said “Chickens? ” she said “No, the male birds. ” I said ” ROOSTERS !” She smiled and replied ” In France we call them **** ! ” And I held my breath and counted to 10 before I said something inappropriate and the moment limped away….scarred but not destroyed!

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The afternoon passed too quickly. It was grand and finally I opened the door to the cage and smiled as she took wing and flew away.

But, it was the first time I have ever had the opportunity to spend time with a lady from Marseilles. I shall remember it for many years. Isabelle Gay….what a class act!

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I returned to my guesthouse just in time to pick up my laundry, consume a hoagie and a small loaf of banana  bread and began the ironing of the clothes which came back from the hotel laundry looking as if they had been used as elephant bedding. As a began to iron I realized they were as stained and dirty looking as when the hotel received them in the morning and they didn’t smell clean. I returned them to the lobby with a complaint as to the condition of the stains and dirt still showing so… they will redo them tomorrow and probably put a curse on them before I get them back. LOL. Only once or twice in 20 years of roaming have my clothes ever come back looking and smelling as if whoever cleaned them was familiar with laundry but hope springs eternally and old folks have persnickety ways.

Sour note…..TA DA !…. Somewhere along the way, I mistakenly parted with a 1000 Baht note, ($30 US,….245,0000 KIP) thinking it was a Lao note of considerably less value and so someone  got handsomely rewarded $25 or so dollars more than they had coming due to my carelessness.

Life is such an interesting mixture of clouds and concrete!