Friday Oct. 26 – Day 6 – Ban Xanghai village.
We finished seeing the Buddhas and climbed back aboard our boat. We push off and motor our way across the river heading at a forty-five degree angle and reach the red shore of the village of Ban Xanghai.
We climbed up a dirt trail of about thirty feet or less and find our selves in the middle of a country liquor store and still. If it had been raining the climb would have been slippery.
It is an open affair with a tin covered roof and several posts holding it up. It is substantial and allows for a nice breeze. There are now walls to speak of. In the middle is a blazing fire under a copper pot with all of its necessary copper tubing run over to a barrel a short distance away. The room is about twelve by twelve and there is a display covering the right half of the front.
The display is nicely done and has a large number of different sizes of bottles of wine and whisky for sale. The obligatory Cobras and Scorpians sit drunkenly in these bottles. If I drank, which I don’t, these reptiles sitting in these bottles, would instantly cure me of the habit.
After walking through and politely refusing samples, we come upon a group of open air shops full of wonderful dresses, purses, and the like.
I see a few very small boys rough housing and venture over to join in. They were perhaps five and six. I have seen fellows like these before. They bring out their soccer ball and entice me with it. They are not to be trusted, I can tell you that. They pass the ball among themselves and mock me and make me want to join them.
Eventually they kick the ball to me and we have an international game, not an incident, but a fine, very short game of soccer. They are crafty fellows with skills and I am an interloper among them. They put up with me for a few moments and then they loose interest in this silly oldish stranger and wander off to spend their time more profitably, perhaps teasing a sister or taking a nap.
We walked through the village and found our van waiting for us. Sadly we will not sail back down the Mekong, but we will see other sights along the way and perhaps see some children more willing to play.
Look for my novels on Amazon or this site. “The Adventures of the Smith Family,” is a novel about a serf who gains his freedom in 18th century England. “Sailing Away” is a sailing adventure and follow up novel to “The Adventures of the Smith Family. You can follow the exploits of Lawrence, Sam, and the rest of the SMith Family there. “Kazu, son of Oshida Kamasaki is an interesting and intigueing Asian folk tale about romance and war.