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Laos Life: Spaghetti, Snakes, and Suds

Gearing up for hosting a string of visitors, enjoying the lovely November weather, and other low-key adventures.




A rare relic of Old Vientiane: Indochine Handicrafts Shop.

Bubble time. Noe can’t get enough, and ending bubble time is never pretty.



Finally earning his keep.

Date night at Ango Japanese Restaurant. This place is awesome—a totally different take on Japanese cuisine than either of us is used to. The owner strives to maintain a calm, quiet, and peaceful ambience—not toddler-friendly but perfect for a date night. And the food is amazing.



Afterwards, some live music at the newly opened Earth—free mojitos to celebrate their official grand opening! Plus, great regional craft beer on tap—a rarity in Laos.

The weather has been awesome lately—low humidity, breezy, highs in the high 70s to low 80s (F). We’ve been keeping the doors and windows open a lot more. As might be expected, bugs occasionally fly in, but nothing large. So you may imagine my surprise when I found this guy stretched across the hallway on the way to the kitchen.

About a meter in length and an inch wide. Anyone care to identify it? We weren’t able to. I’m not terribly fond of snakes (there are few critters on earth I like less, maybe none—so having one in my own home was not a pleasant experience). Not knowing if it was poisonous or not, we enlisted the help of our neighbor who unhesitatingly took care of it (or, rather, unhesitatingly sent his adult son to take care of it). A big ice cold beer was the least we could offer for his help. Lori and I have had a lot of critters in our homes over the years—scorpions, rats, toads, centipedes, bats, lizards, roaches, tarantulas, but never a sizable snake. It was bound to happen at some point, I guess.

It’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving and the Western holiday season is just around the corner. Leave it to the JOMA, the Canadian coffee shop chain to help remind us that, yes, fall is in the air, and that means pumpkins, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin spiced latte.

In reality, November in Vientiane feels a lot more like summer in the PacNW, and what better way to celebrate than a locally-brewed IPA at the Irish Pub down the street. Today, we’re here with a couple of friends on a couples-pub-date-slash-play-date.

It seems the city suddenly came into copious amounts of street paint, as over the course of three days the city’s roads went from having zero traffic lines of any sort to every type of line imaginable, including crosswalks!

Nice concept, but I’m not holding out hope that motorists will know what to do with them. Crosswalks don’t really work in a place where the meaning of traffic signals are ambiguous at best, and generally unknown or completely optional (including stop signs and stop lights). In this environment, crosswalks are about as dangerous a place for pedestrians to cross as any. It’s still fun to watch newly-arrived falang standing patiently next to a crosswalk waiting for cars to stop. Good luck with that.

The big news in Vientiane this week is that the most powerful man in the world is paying a visit for three fun-filled days—of motorcades, traffic blocks, and general traffic chaos.

Our neighborhood isn’t the most action-packed in Vientiane, but we are fortunate to be a ten minute walk to the International Trade Exhibition and Convention Center (ITECC) which hosts a number of events. And while most events seem to be rebranded duplications of the same event a month prior, some of them surprise. I took Noe to the International Auto Show recently, which he didn’t enjoy as much as I thought he might (maybe in another year or so)? But at least it gave me a chance to shop for a new dining room set. I’m looking for something fairly understated. What do you think?

About forty years from completion, but the signage just went up. Hooray!




Here today…gone tomorrow. Life in Vientiane in 2017.

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4 thoughts on “Laos Life: Spaghetti, Snakes, and Suds”

  1. Took me awhile to see the snake! Actually quite colorful. Glad the weather is decent again. Heavy freezing fog and low 20s here in Redmond. Good time for cookie baking!

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