We made a visa run to Lao this week. Again. The process was much smoother this time since we actually had the paperwork we needed, and we knew how to get places. We also lucked out at the morning market in Vientiane and found a 14 inch piece of agarwood. It's not top quality, but it is streaked with resin throughout. The gal who sold it to us even lit it so we could see how it smelled before we bought it. Delicious. Just around the corner, however, my favorite little bronze elephant had gone up in price from 100 to 150 dollars. At least I got a picture.
On our way back, at about 4 am, somewhere in the mountains east of Chiang Mai our bus rear ended another bus. Jami saw it happening, but I was asleep, and bruised my kneecaps on the seat in front of me. As usual our bus driver was following too close. For some reason bus drivers seem to imagine that they only need four feet of clearance if the vehicle in front of them is another bus, as thought there were some psychic connection that would prevent one bus driver from actually hitting another. Our bus was fine, aside from the broken windshield, but the other one had metal and plastic pushed into the belts, so we had to hold their hands while they waited for another bus to pick up the passengers. We were worried about getting home in time to pick Tien up from the kennel at the small animal hospital.
He'd had surgery the previous Thursday to remove three dog-bite related abscesses. One went into his spine, and the surgeon told us how difficult it was to remove when we picked him up. It took him about twelve hours to get back on his feet. Literally. Every time he tried to stand up he would flip over, so instead of walking he would roll across the floor, howling, until he hit something and had to stop, or roll back the other way. I put him in a box and gave him water and half a raw egg with a syringe. The next morning his bandages had loosened enough that he could walk, and we found him out of the box, sitting on the bathroom rug when we woke up. This morning they took his stitches out, and he looks like a regular Frankenstein's Monster in his shaved, scarred, and iodine-speckled glory. Poor T.
Finally, we have a house to move into, and just in the nick of time since we have to be out of this place on Tuesday. It's south of downtown, a concrete and wooden combo, with a workspace underneath, and plenty of room for visitors if we ever get any. We're going over tomorrow to sign the contract and give it a top to bottom scrubbing. I'll post some pictures before we're sans internet.