Monday morning saw me driving out of Ubon before 7am bound for the border.
My visa run was still five days away but I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone as my brother was arriving for a flying visit. He had been in Laos for business and managed to wangle a few extra days (thanks Anne) to catch the overnight bus down to Pakse and then an early morning bus to Chong Mek where I was to meet him.
I arrived ahead of schedule and managed a look through a few shops before he arrived. Perhaps it was because it was early Monday morning or maybe it is the state of the economy but apart from a few months ago (when I paid no attention) the last time I was here was 5 years ago and the place was over run with beggars and pushy original rolex sales people flogging off their $5 once in a life time offer.
This time it was dead. I mean really dead as in I seemed to be the only person crossing over and was the only customer in the four different shops that i visited.
Anyway, my attempt of returning to Thailand withought obtaining a Laos visa backfired and I was ordered back into Laos to get one. Once that was sorted my brother and I headed off to the village so that he could see the new house and say hello to my family, who he has gotten to know quite well over the last 6 years.
We arrived around noon after a big lunch in a near by town. After a quick house tour I sent him to work constructing, testing and teaching my brother in law the new whipper snipper (weed eater) that he had got me to bring him from Ubon.
After that it was a quick tour of the village and pig farm and talking with more family before around 4pm we headed back to Ubon.
The girls quickly warmed to him which was great and the next day we had a great time together.
Breakfast at Peppers before heading off to do some shopping for the cafe. Then it was lunch for the kids before heading home. After the kids sleep we headed off to the swimming pool/park at Sunee before making it just in time to help Seerung close up the shop. Out for dinner that night ended a fantastic day.
The next morning it was back to reality as i dropped him off at the airport and was at work by 7.30am.
It was such a wonderful distraction having him here and I know the girls really enjoyed his company. Lets hope it isnt too long before we catch up again.