The Southerners toured Laos. It was a long 14-hour train trip. Since it was night time there was no scenic beauty to stare at so we sat back and drank beer until we fell asleep (or in the case of my Italian teammate you drink wine). I know such behaviour is shocking, especially from a rugby team but the options on the train were very limited.

There were a few minor hiccups at the border. 2 people were detained. I believe it was because Thailand was worried they were losing 2 scenic beauties but with words and promises as sweet as their looks the boys managed to catch up with the team on the Laos side.

Laos is a very interesting place. Before I arrived here in Thailand, in my ignorance, I pictured Bangkok exactly how Laos is, unpaved streets, gutted buildings, contrasted with scenic beauty and Soi dogs chewing their guts out. Cameron gave us a tour of buildings he didn’t like. It seemed everyone wanted to add to the tour by adding little nuggets of information like “Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world.” This fact did not surprise me, but what did shock me was when I we were told “it is the most bombed nation on the planet.” This may no be true now thanks to Iraq but it seems that during the Vietnam War planes couldn’t land with live bombs so they would drop them over Laos. Good times.

Our rugby game went well. We thumped our hosts (led by an impressive 3 try performance by Ron, and 1 by Me, my first ever so I have to mention it!) then quickly went to the pub so the Aussie and South African teammates could watch their countries play each other in the Tri-nations tournament.

The night progressed as one does when they are out with a rugby team with a few twists. When searching for an after hours bar with my Italian teammate we got lost and ended up in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, a band of militia (sic) came by and were able to point us in the right direction. From there we ended up at an all night bowling alley. It had 10 lanes and was packed, as it was the only place selling booze at that hour. It was 2am and I was about to keep drinking and rent bowling shoes on the recommendation from a man in overalls with an M-16, it was at this point I realized I needed to go home. In the morning I realized the whole drunken day cost me less than 1000baht. God Bless Laos!

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