Kurt, Marie-Helene and I had just returned from a lovely evening of gin & tonics at a quaint bar and then a terrific dinner at L’Elephante, a popular restaurant in Luang Prabang.
It was about 10pm and I cracked open my laptop to check messages and write my status on Facebook, “…can’t help but smile as she watches the Obama inauguration live from Luang Prbang, Laos!!!” And then I shut my computer down and got comfy in bed, excited to watch.
With all the pre-inauguration nonsense, (and a delightfully full belly and a few gin & tonics in me) I started to fall asleep. But I woke up about 11:30pm, ready to witness this great moment in history. Luang Prabang and Washington D.C. are exactly 12 hours apart. So where I was, Obama would be inaugurated at midnight.
At about 11:55, one speaker (forgive me, I lost track who was introducing who) said something like, “…who will swear in Vice President, Joe Biden.” And at that exact moment, right after Joe Biden was named, my screen turned to snow. I checked the cables, I changed the channels. Nothing. I called the front desk. I went to the lobby. All of the TVs in the hotel experienced the same problem.
I thought perhaps the cable box was turned off, but later learned that it was most likely censorship. Strange that we were allowed to watch all the pomp and circumstance, but not the swearing in? As peaceful as Laos is, it was a reminder that it remains a communist country.
I’m just really disappointed that I missed one of the most significant moments of my country’s history. Major bummer, dude.
On the Bright Side,