Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Today was some kind of turning point. I sat on my plastic faux-leather couch with my friend Saleumsai, my feet at a rude angle against the wall, while he sat next to me holding a pirated copy of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit. Bao Bao Ling, my 8 Bit NES knockoff game system, was on a cushion in front of us, and the house was hot as hell. I was in a weird haze quoting Monty Python, substituting in Bedak for Spam, and he kept turning the film cover over, examining the back. I don’t think either of us said anything coherent for a full hour. I finally figured out that opening up a window might lower the temperature a few degrees, and we settled back into coherence.

I don’t know what today means. But happy Pii Mai Lao. Everyone’s getting out their water guns and buckets so they can “bless” any hapless passers-by who are dumb enough to venture out on their motorbikes come Wednesday. My plans to go up to Luang Prabang with Saleumsai are shot, though we might make it out to a waterfall or something majestic. Who knows?

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