Neil’s Wheeling #18 Feb 19, 2014

Tim writes:

We just got into Vangvien a couple of hours ago after a LONG all day van ride over bad, mountainous passes. All continues to go exceedingly well.

Health for us remains good to great.

Extraordinary adventures and Neil has become a Facebook hero among European trekkers.

No internet keyboards in sight.

Best! Tim

Steve adds:

I have received two short messages today which I have consolidated into one short message.

European trekkers? What has Neil done this time? Probably tried to bum a few euros to pay for a hot meal in a restaurant instead of the street vendors’ fried frogs. Of course, it is a no-win situation. If he eats a nice medium-rare mongoose steak in a restaurant, the street cooks will complain that the tourists are unfair to the free enterprise system.

I told Neil to avoid the local politics of food purveyors and to stick to dining at McDonalds. Does he listen to me?

Just so you think that we stay-at-homes don’t get any fun out of this trip, here is Julie’s exchange with Mr. Vong.

The internet travel books recommend that you “reconfirm” your reservations three days before arrival. (I’m unclear how you might do this while riding on a bus. But, I’m unclear on many things.)

To: vongsabaidy@hotmail.com
Subject: Reservation confirmation
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 22:39:26

Dear Sabaidy2 Guesthouse,
I would like to confirm a reservation for my father, Neil Van Steenbergen, and his friend Tim McCarthy for Feb 21, 22 and 23. They are looking forward to staying with you and exploring Pakse.

Thank you for taking such good care of my father. He will be 87 years old next month!
Julie Darling

From: vongsabaidy@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Reservation confirmation
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 23:37:43

Hi Julie,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Please reconfirm me a detail of room,what kind of room exactly?
Your father will have 87 years old next month ok
I thing we must to give him confortable room.
Kind regards
Mr Vong

To: vongsabaidy@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Reservation confirmation
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 00:08:50

He had reserved 1 room with two beds, one for him and one for his friend Tim, with bathroom inside the room.
Please surprise him and give him a hug from his daughter Julie!
Thank you very much,
Julie

From: vongsabaidy@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Reservation confirmation
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:56:50

Hi Julien
We are sorry for room with two beds
We have double room with big bed in side (for couple only)
So we can’t accept your order.
Thank you and sorrry
Mr Vong

To: vongsabaidy@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Reservation confirmation
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 00:10:33

Mr. Vong,
I have an email from you dated Dec. 18, 2013 where you confirmed a room with twin beds for 80.000k (with shared shower outside) for Feb. 22, 23 and 26. It is signed “Vong”. I hope that this room will be available for my father and his friend. There is no way that I can contact them now to tell them your message.
Julie

From: vongsabaidy@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Reservation confirmation
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2014 02:16:02

Hi Julie,
For me it’s not a problem.
Please tell to your father he must to share shower out side.
I’m 70 year old and I know for this age we prefer shower inside.
Please reconfirm soon
Price for shower in side 95.000k per room
Mr Vong

For your edification and delight, Steve adds:

shower outside = 80,000 kip = US$ 10.00.

shower inside = 95,000 kip = US$ 11.85.

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