GO SHAWTY IT’S YA BIRTHDAY
WE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S YA BIRTHDAY
WE GON’ SIP BACARDI LIKE IT’S YA BIRTHDAY
Okay okay so it was my birthday, the big one-nine in fact, and I was lucky enough to celebrate over two Tiger Whiskey fuelled nights in Luang Prabang with the fantastic company of new friends.
I liked Luang Prabang a lot. There’s a really impressive night market, cheap and delicious food ($1 buffet anyone?), and no shortage of charming Lao hospitality.
The celebrations began on the day before my birthday, when I was re-united with Amelia and Chloe from The Gibbon Experience, and met the final third of their travelling trio, Alice. Now, I know that nobody likes to hear about other peoples’ “funniest thing EVER but you had to be there” night-out stories or see their totally #lol #yolo drunken photos, but I’m going to subject you to them anyway. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. It is my birthday after all.
After picking up some very cheap and very delicious watermelon vodka from the bottle-o down the street, we began our night of festivities in the hostel common room with a game of drinking Uno. After a few rounds, we were in high spirits, and running along the road screaming complete nonsense in an attempt to hail a tuk-tuk. How is it that tuk-tuk drivers seem to be everywhere you look until you actually need a ride?!
Like most backpackers, our first stop was Utopia, a chilled out bar complete with floor cushions, shisha and crazy cheap drinks to get the night really started. It was packed to the bamboo rafters and we had a really good time. We made some new friends, had some Lao Lao shots (never again), and failed to pick up some hot German guys before the bar closed at the strike of midnight. Cya Utopia, it’s off to bowling.
Bowling? Yes, bowling. Believe it or not, every night hundreds of backpackers converge on Luang Prabang’s back-to-the-80’s bowling alley for more alcohol and a game of the ol’ ten pin. It’s absolutely hilarious, and so much fun. Bowling shoes optional, bumpers not allowed.
It’s at this point my memory gets a little blurred. I have a video on my phone of everyone singing “Happy Birthday” to me at one point, which I wish I could upload, but it’s probably best that I can’t. We met some cool Canadian guys who were totally wowed by my Canadian accent and me a bottle of vodka as a birthday present. I don’t remember how the night ended, but I do remember walking back to the hostel with a chicken baguette in my hands.
We awoke the next day with hangovers. Or should I say, LUANG PRABANG-OVERS ?! (Am I right?!) I treated myself to a birthday brownie for breakfast with Amelia, Chloe and Alice, before they headed south to Vang Vieng where I would see them again in a couple of days. I told myself that I’d had my birthday fun now, and that that night would be a nice, quiet, relaxing one.
Oh how wrong I was. Someone had let slip to the adorable Lao girl who runs the hostel that it was my birthday and the words nice, quiet and relaxing don’t seem to be in her English vocabulary. She threw me a legit birthday party. She bought me a cake, decorated the hostel with a big “Happy Birthday Maddison” sign and provided eight bottles of whiskey! Eight freaking bottles.
It wasn’t what I had in mind for that night, but regardless, I was totally overwhelmed and amazed by her kindness and generosity! I didn’t know what her name was, and I felt terrible about it. Nobody else knew what her name was either, so after a few drinks, I took matters into my own hands and named her myself. I started calling her Kitty, and told everybody else to do the same! I wish I had a photo with her, she was the sweetest thing. If you’re heading to Luang Prabang, I whole-heartedly recommend the hostel Khammany Inn. tell Kitty that birthday girl Maddi says hey!
That night progressed very similarly to the night prior, although quite a bit faster due to the vast quantities of free-flowing alcohol. Due to the fact that my Nan reads this blog, I won’t go into too much detail about the state I was in, but you can be sure that I embraced the Y O L O mentality very enthusiastically. What else are birthdays for? Shout out to Liam for holding my hair back when I threw up in the squat toilet of the bowling alley and for making sure I was alright when I cried my eyes out over nothing in particular. Soz ’bout it.
I felt horrendous the next day, but I braved the bumpy tuk-tuk ride to Luang Prabang’s famous Kuang Si Waterfalls. They’re beautiful and freezing cold, so a great place to cool off from the heat and attempt to wash away my sins of the night before.
Next stop, Vang Vieng! Can I get a “TUUUUU-BERRRRRRS!” ?!