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for dreamers

Sunday, before the Poles:

I took time out to dream today. I sat in a coffee shop and flopped back in those coveted cushy sofas that all too often have a couple draping them. Today it was mine, all mine.

I rested my head on its back and instantly I had a flashback to a coffee shop in Bangkok- sitting alone in refrigerated funky surroundings slightly homesick and sick that I was homesick.  India had worn me out and in the cool quiet of the Bangkok Starbucks I wanted my friends seated with me, lattes and teas ignored whilst I told Indian tales.

I snap back to London April 07.  The lady in front of me types determinedly on a laptop, now and then she confers with a little book. Writing. What happened to that dream?

I write a lot when I get away.

My mind whisks me back and suddenly I am in, I don't really know its name, I took a boat and got off where everybody else did, Laos somewhere, 9  hours upriver from Luang Prabang.

The village has no electricity but I don't know this when we arrive and I make my way up a hill following the others. At the top  I walk letting instinct guide me, through the village's main road, a reddish brown dirt lane, lined on either side with homes that double up as shops.  I have gotten used to dogs and no longer watch out for them.  A village in Thailand took care of that years ago. There were so many hungry dogs running around my feet the overwhelming experience numbed me of further fear.  I think pyshologists call it 'flooding'.

I walk slowly and follow the dirt road as it curves to the left and at its end I find a clutch of bungalows on the edge of the land. Through the trees I glimpse the waters I've been floating through all day, I don't know if it's the Mekong or one of its tributaries.  I had spent the day with my hand in the water, clean, like they all were once,  so close to me I can touch the bed if I dare as the narrow, long boat chugs forward. Every moment I think are we there yet I am met with  pale white buffaloes, children bathing and collecting creatures from the water bed, undulating green mounds, trees of breathtaking height, glistening water, turquoise-green, so beautiful you want a lover to make a ring out of it for you and I don't want to be there yet.

A man finds me looking at the bungalows(bamboo shacks really) and shows me to one. I have learned the language of the traveller, smile, smile, smile and say hello anyway. He also shows me the communal bathroom, a spacious clean hut with privacy and water. He leaves me and I climb the steps to the bungalow, leaning forward as I ascend the angled wooden steps, curling my feet over the rails.  My centre of gravity does not want to shift and I do this like the oldest woman in the village can't- ungainly.

A hammock hangs on the deck outside the bungalow door.  I sit in it and swing myself as I draw in the view in front of me. I want time to stand still.


The clouds swift by , the lights shifts, the water gushes, boats drift by, birds call.


Somewhere life and death swap soul-space, love and hate exchange surprised places, hope transcends circumstance, dreams soar unshackled.

I can't stop it.

It's wondrous- life. I try and memorise the scene, count the number of shades of green, the kinds of bird song, the rhythm of the boats, the rhyme of the water-gurgle and still it changes and I can't keep up. 

Soon I too have to move on, find someone to walk me through the hills tomorrow.  I don't know how or where to find this person whoever he may be but there is a dream to walk through those hills and it guides me down the steep steps in search of the unknown.


Posted on Tue, April 10, 2007 at 08:56PM by Registered Commenterparadise in | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Love your writing! I often dream of Thailand too. And Malaysia, China, Japan and a number of countries so far removed from where I am now.
April 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAya
^thank you. I will never tire of that part of the world. Writing about it gets me to relive the experiences.
April 11, 2007 | Registered Commenterparadise
My God, i could almost visualize the entire scenery Heedhe! This is the sort of place i would love to visit. As I was reading this i was swinging along with you in that hammock, perched high up outside the bamboo balcony of a Bangalow surrounded by trees and chriping birds, watching the vast landscape of trees and lakes.... Ok i should stop dreaming!
April 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShafi Said
^never stop dreaming, for if u don't dream how u gonna make a dream come true? -)

I looked for the photos of the scenes I wrote about for you and couldn't find them tonight, found everything but. Perhaps best left imagined.

Laos is beautiful, doesn't quite compare to a London borough.
April 12, 2007 | Registered Commenterparadise

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