Vroom Vroom Bump
Thank god it was not a child, thank god it was not a child I thought as I slowed my bike to a safe stop. Around me the village was in activity, but all had ceased and everyone was looking at me.
I turned toward the high pitched wines coming from the thrashing heap of tail, nose and fur that had just darted like a bullet into my front wheel. Shit. My first dog. And a cute little old guy at that – all black and white spots.
I had heard from our previous riding companions that “hit and run” was the way to go in small villages when an unfortunate coincidence brought an animal under your bike. Otherwise the villagers will try to get you to pay exorbitant amounts for the maimed kamikaze chicken or dog then eat it themselves for dinner, but there are no dog food stands in Laos, and I did not mind paying a little to the owners of this poor fellow. He yelped a few more times and looked questioningly at me. Not even a clean kill, crap.
Growing up in a small town in Western Washington I was no stranger to road kill, but if you hit it you are bound by a moral code of decency to go back and see that it gets dead – real dead – not just half limping into the woods to die painfully over the next 2 days. Images of beheading a dog in the middle of the only street in this village with some sort of blunt farming implement played in my mind.
This is going to be awkward, I thought. I turned my bike and slowly made my way back to scene, looking left and right at the villagers and asking Eric, “what do we do?” I was surprised to see several of them laughing at me. We both made heartfelt sorry, sorry, pity for the dog hand motions. I realized I was shaking. The nearest fruit seller copied our motions and shook her head, yes, yes it is a pity. She then laughed again and waived us on our way. We lingered a moment and looked back at the dog, who promptly jumped up and started to run around with a few children. Whew…
The rest of the ride I felt relieved and a bit self-piteous, until I noticed a curious duo who we had been playing passing leap frog with for a few miles. They were both doubled up on a small under-powered scooter. The rider on the back was holding his right hand up above his head every time I saw them. Eric and I pulled off the road to discuss the dog incident when they passed us again.
The back rider looked at us and waved with his upheld hand. As I looked closer I noticed that half of his index and part of his middle fingers were missing and an impromptu bandage had been thrown on them. Dude had just cut off his fingers and was cursing to whatever hospitalish facilities they MAY have here casually waving to us with his maimed hand!
… And waterfalls
Did I mention we were coming from a beautiful waterfall? Apparently it is the BIG tourist attraction of the area. And now, your moment of Zen, no, really, monks hamming it up for photos IN the sacred waterfall. Is the world crazy? You tell me.