This is the smiling face of 19-year-old Tar from Vientiane, Laos. She’s giving me a foot massage, and to be fair, I think she’s putting on a brave face because I’m not so sure I’d be smiling that broadly if I had to spend 30 minutes touching some strangers feet.
It’s my last evening in Laos and as there is very little to do in this rather disappointing capital city I decided to go for a foot massage. I’ve never had one before and here in Asia they’re very popular.
Conversation with Tar was somewhat one-sided. She didn’t speak English and my Lao vocabulary is limited to just Hello and Thank you (which I sometimes mix up with “Oh my Buddha” in Cambodian). But I was able to make her smile through a series of gestures and general ‘farang‘ foolishness.
As for the foot massage, Tar did a great job. I’m not sure it really hit all the spots those strange posters show, but it was a relaxing experience for sure.
I’m not just saying goodbye to Laos tomorrow, but I’ll also bid farewell to Jade, my travel companion of the last three weeks or so. It’s been great sharing the road with her, and as she heads home to Canada via Thailand, I’ll catch a night bus heading east and over the border into Vietnam.