Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ain't No Party Like A Landlocked Party

Night is heavy and thick here in Vientiane. Planted palms, potted vegetation and gutter puddles line the walks. Beautiful and ancient with people eating, cooling down, and sharing stories of the day. It's dark but home lights glow. Some sit in chairs outside to talk and prep food. Some have open front walls/doors. An old man with boxer shorts, toes in a bucket, watching Thai television.
On the corner yard, a round cement table full of men and women are singing to the tune of "happy birthday" with one huge candle stuck in a 2 liter soda bottle. Kids are playing and laughing. Motorbikes with 1 year olds up front ride past us, as do boys popping balloons.

We weave back the short distance from supper to the Lane Xang Hotel on foot, cruising past bright green leaves big as surfboards. Ripe orange fruit I've never seen before has fallen to the ground and we are beside ourselves with post-meal amazement (more on the INCREDIBLE Mak Phet later). We are completely satisfied, and ready for sleep in cold sheets.

Then wouldn't you know it.
Our lobby was rocking like your Uncle Dan and Aunt Jerry from France were losing their skulls.
This is what it looked like. Partially. Right out of Lao Twin Peaks.
These insane mom tourists from beyond the sun, apparently needed to land on Laos to clap it to death. The hotel staff was so wonderful, and seemingly pleased by their guests. So accomodating, and welcoming to anyone. If this was America, eye rolling and spitting in beers would be off the grid.

Oh, the singer also doubles as our hotel desk clerk. During the day, Somphet wears a blinding lime-green blazer and I swear to god, when he smiles, you can see diamonds.

4 comments:

Jilly said...

Oh Rachel, bless you for blogging. Your humor and wit, respect, and zest for life all come through in your fabulous writing. Feel like I'm there with you and pictures and video are the best. I love you and can't wait for your next post. Hooray for America's new President.

Garth said...

Lady,I <3 you to pieces. Bis sloppy wet ones to you and Justin!

corinne said...

here's some random cuteness to pepper your day - http://cdn1.ustream.tv/swf/4/viewer.45.swf?cid=317016 they don't do much, but boy is it ever cute when they do!

hubert rainfield said...

Hello Rachel, What a very nice bunch of work you are doing in such a socially conscious way. I am not familiar with Visqueen, but will check out your band. Read about the meet up at the
'Vulture's'... Cultural Exchange...at the Paramount.
I had already dug their efforts from
YouTube_ views.

No sense going long here, but
good going with the developments in your project in Laos.

Enjoyed it very much. Hubert