Thursday, June 28, 2012

For the past several days, there's been a patch of broken glass toward the edge of the street that runs past my hotel. For several days, I've only spotted it just as I was about to step into some of the more ground-in shards toward the edge of the sunburst explosion--there's still a pretty big, intact piece of glass at its center--and changed course to give it a wide berth. On the first and second day, I wondered what had happened. By the third, it had become part of the scenery. Today, as I walked to the bank, I noticed that someone had spraypainted a black oval around it, delineating its edges. Why? Why has this been done? Why did someone bother to mark this mess? Why hasn't it just been cleaned up?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hello again

There's a new Korean restaurant in Luang Prabang; o joy, there is a Korean restaurant. Now, when walk out the door at seven pm and do the "where do you want eat?", "No, where do YOU want to eat?", hair-tearing "I chose last time!" routine, there's one more place to add to the list. This puts us up to six, or nine if we want to eat buckets of MSG (yum, MSGeeeeeee), or eleven if we feel like eating at a backpacker joint where acquaintances will entice us into boozy follies like staying out until, goodness, 11 pm. (But hurrah, no more shall I be enticed into cigarettes; this sickness has finally given me the quitting spirit.) Eleven sounds like a lot, but day in, day out, with some in heavy rotation and others dropping out, it really ain't much. And you can subtract at least two if we don't feel like breaking the bank. And suddenly everything's closed for the low season, and we spend nights driving in circles, unable to decide. At least it's quiet now. Quiet and beautiful and full of fun for locals--football tournaments and...well, a football tournament is pretty bloody exciting. There was rock climbing now long ago, though those friends have gone on vacation now (hurry back, T and M). And one of these days, I'll wake up to tomatoes of my very own. Tomatoes and cucumber to go with the basil and dill and morning glory just waiting to be used. Along with the giant rosella and kapok trees that I've germinated from teeny little seeds. The kapoks will shoot up--well, I hope they will; they can--they sometimes grow 13 feet in a year! I'm working on date palms and lychees, too, and there will be papaya and any damn thing else I can grow. I just need to transplant these things soon. Yesterday I told my Lao teacher that cucumbers were chai hon. She laughed. I can make jokes in Lao. This is a good thing. Lychees are a very good thing. Korean food, very good. Great vertical clouds, excellent. The drama of cucumbers. Homemade flashcards. New sinhs. New fruit. Caves, bats, bridges, seasons. Things rolling around and unrolling and rolling again.