I’ve been experiencing some back pain and asked someone at work if they knew a physio in town. They took me to the Lao Disabilities Rehabilitation Center. My workmate has a friend that works there. Their friend works with disabled children to help them strengthen their muscles so they can learn to eat and walk. It sounded like very noble work to me.

Rehab Center was a large concrete building. There was a long wait, but when I was finally seen the treatment they gave me was almost identical to that given to me by Physiotherapists back in Australia.

A bit of heat, some electricity (okay, only an acupuncturist has done this to me), a massage and instructions on daily stretches I should do.

My first experience with a Lao Physiotherapy ward we surprisingly well.

One thing I feel quite bad about was that I ended up paying a bribe to jump to the head of the queue. There were quite a few people there waiting in the facility. My work colleague took me there, and rather than wait he gestured for me to hand him some money. I gave it to him, probably half knowing what it was for, and he ended up handing it to another person that meant I was seen without much of a delay. I was pretty fortunate in that I wasn’t exposed to that much corruption or bribery in my time in Laos, but it may have been more of a reflection of how removed I was from ordinary society, not that it didn’t exist.