I’m now a millionaire but the best things in life you can’t buy

A quick visit to the cash point at the Laos border and I withdrew the maximum I was allowed. A mere £85. However at the current exchange rate with the Laos Kip that makes me a millionaire. I now have 1 million Kip. Yes I’ve achieved what most want in a life. To be a millionaire. Should I just quit now while I’m kinda ahead?

I had just been through the chaos of Laos immigration where they take your passport off you, transfer it to another kiosk, then hold them up and demand dollars for their return to the massive scrum of people that want their passports back. After this chaotic and long drawn out encounter I was wanting some water and a sit down.

I purchased my water for 5000kip. Shit, I now only have 995,000 Kip. My millionaire status was gone like that. I was genuinely saddened by this. God I need to grow up.

However the best thing about the day wasn’t becoming a millionaire, nor being surrounded by awesome fellow travellers. Later that day once we had found a guesthouse, it was around 9pm, me and some mates had just treated ourselves to steak and chips in a restaurant (side note, don’t order steak and chips in Laos) and we were looking for dessert. So we headed to a bakery that was still open. Outside there were 4 young Laotian kids playing football in the street. Now my dad will say I’m shite at football after spending many rainy Sundays watching me from the sidelines when I was younger but I’m not too shabby at a few kicks up and passes, even with my new foot attire, flip flops.

We must have played for 40 minutes, with constant laughter at our failed tricks or just us doing funny things. This is what travelling is about. Meeting the locals, them welcoming you and there being no divide. Just a common interest that brings you all together. So uncomplicated but something we (people) seem to just over complicate.

I look around. Most of the group of travellers I was with have just vanished (I later found out that told me where they were going but I was so caught up having fun I just didn’t notice them saying this) but I couldn’t care. I’ve just had an amazing time, having a laugh with locals, eating baked goods and playing football. Life is good and it’s true what they say, the best things in life are free.

As I’m leaving one of the kids asks my name.

I reply “Craig……Craig Messi”.

The kid doesn’t laugh.

I think to myself now that I’m a millionaire it may be time to invest in a joke writer…and surgery to remove my second left foot.


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