A Walk in Vientiane, Laos

A wet pug dog, temple of red and gold. Bob Marley in my headphones. Busy street, balconies, streetlights, alleys, old unbalanced doors, sidewalk jammed with trash flowers, SUV’s on the curb, mini-mart, same peaceful breeze as last night. Special, bow tied and helpless baskets full of jellies or Nescafé. Finally the fruits. Mangoes, grapes, apples, starfruit, grapefruit, dragon fruit. The old, interchangeable ladies selling those cherries and avocados.

A mom slaps her young daughter’s head for something as they buy orange flowers built in the shape of a stupa. Laundry. Motorbike. Incomprehensible written symbols abound. Teenagers strutting. D-mart, Kintime, Nokia. Hotel. Beeline. Pepsi. Poorly named Pho Dung…closed Sunday. Canon. J.D. Pools. Purple flowers above some runoff river sitting playing with itself. Sweet home Restauran (sic).

Four guys play black dominoes. Some terrible drama on the TV. Do I want a Cornetto cone? No. After dinner. More dogs laying about the flip flops and soily cardboard.
Carnation condensed milk and coke sitting together, what would that make?? A huge crystal store condensed into one tiny room. Guy slurping noodles in his cell phone store. Old lady on her haunches loading a soda fridge. What appears to be “Laos Got Talent” is on.

Always traffic, there’s always somewhere to be. A grayed old couple working the bicycle store. Calloway golf clubs, golf must be glorious out in some of these green mountains, the fairways lined with karst cliffs, deep blue water hazards. K-plaza, Paweetra Beauty Center, Samsung, Galaxy, iPhone, cross the street, drainage, arrows, green fences with gold lace, a giant red and white electrical tower, wifi, red and white curb, barbed iron wall. Entrance gate with guard in uniform, green. Five big nice banks all in a row.

Across the street, the planned site of the Vientiane WTC megamall. To the right, the Patuxai, the tri-tipped, intricately carved Arc de Triomphe of Laos. A guy on a moto-bike does a wheelie and peels out. Nuclear power plant advertisement on the rather small big screen. Girl in multi-color one piece alone on a bench with bags. Banana shaped leaves on the ground. Campus France. Black cat hides in the shadow. Cat scampers away. Saw a dead cat earlier. It’s chin was on the ground, the man poked it, dead. The world is hard, as Bob Marley sings War in my ears…”until all these things, have no meaning to all mankind, there will be War.”

TUK-tuk. So many banks. Changed it up: now it’s Amos Lee, “windows are rolled daaaaoooun.” Pho ZaP… Original taste since 1958. Really?? Lizard crawls on the glowing massage sign. Some terrible thing festering on the sidewalk. A tree patch. Puddle. Wind. Palm tree. Puppy. Poppy pharmacy. Print shop. Beerlao. Settha Palace. Born to B. And then I arrived at the bowling alley…



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