exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

it’s a small world after all

by Jen at 5:50 pm on 22.01.2007 | 1 Comment
filed under: mutterings and musings, photo, world tour

i am sitting on the train, reading the paper on the way home, engrossed in the latest jade goody saga.


i look up, and across from me is a thin blond woman who seems oddly familiar, but is not ringing any bells as I try to place her face.

“it’s lucy. from laos.”

we were on the slow boat down the mekong river in Laos, from Huay Xia to Luang Prabang – a two day journey, with an overnight stopover in the tiny flyspot village of pak beng. pak beng has exactly 3 rustic “hostels”, limited running water, and electricity only between the hours of 7-11. still, after 9 very long hours on an uncomfortable cargo boat, we were eager to explore, so we walked down to the dirt path by the river as light began to fall. as we walked past a brightly lit house with blaring, thumping american music, we saw a few other tourists from the boat inside, beckoning us in. turns out the party was actually a wedding reception for two young laos newlyweds in their late teens, and we spent the rest of the evening dancing to rap music, drinking the local moonshine, and chatting with a group of australian girls who were on their way to england after their holidays. in particular i spent some time talking to this girl lucy, who was a qualified occupational therapist, about the nhs and her tentative plans to move to london, giving her my email and telling her she should get in touch. we bonded in that way you do when you are travelers thrown together in a strange environment, and you’ve been drinking too much homemade grain alcohol, and the whole world is your friend.

and now here she was in front of me – holy shit. i am really bad with recognising people out of context, but as soon as she said “laos” it all came flooding back to me. turns out she lives just in clapham, of all places. so she filled me in on her experiences since moving here, and i told her about the rest of our travels. we engaged in small talk until we reached her tube stop. and then, she was gone. there was a brief moment where i thought about exchanging phone numbers… but then it passed. i think sometimes travel bonds don’t always survive the real world – and maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be.

the train pulled out of the station.

i went back to reading my paper.


1 Comment »

1 Comment

  • 1

    Comment by gigi

    23.01.2007 @ 12:10 pm

    this made me a bit heart-achy. Just a bit. (And also I apparently can’t stop my commenting frenzy. but I will. right now.)

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