I’m floating down the river in an old tractor inner tube, it has been yellow but the paint has faded and peeled off from use and the black rubber is showing through. The water is a muddled brownish green color and the sun, already sinking lower, is sparkling on the surface like liquid silver. I lean back, raise my feet out of the water and relax. In front of me the spectacular Laotian nature, karst cliffs rising up out the jungle, and behind me the other tubers, all swimming suit clad bodies and yellow tubes, floating lazily along with me.