The unseasonal rain continued on and off this fourth day of my trip to Pak Lai. As a result, I was limited to my room during much of the day. In fact, all during this trip I never got to hang out in PL2 very much at all, which is where I usually go when I’m visiting this area.
In the morning, I watched footage of Lao National Day, as celebrated in Vientiane on December 2nd. But, in fact, celebrations were happening all across the country, this week, as different provinces celebrated on different days. This allowed those who could afford it to celebrate at the nation’s capitol. Pak Lai’s celebration of the revolution would be in two days’ time.
During a break in the rain, I made it over to the main market where I was successful in finding a pair of dress pants I could fit into. Actually, it was the merchant who should get all the credit. She dug around in her inventory in the back for a good long while, determined to make a sale. Xaysana had invited me to a big ngan dawng (wedding party) that night and I really needed to dress up.
While at the market, I dropped in on Savath, who has been a friend of mine for about three years and thus my oldest friend in the Pak Lai area. He’s the main alchohol distributor for Pak Lai and also a hardware salesman. It was good to see him again and I was pleased to find that he had made his way onto Facebook and Line – both of which will make it easier for us to maintain contact.
On the way back to my guesthouse, I stopped in at Khemkhong for a beer and ended up helping the owner’s daughter’s daughter with her ABC’s. It was mid-afternoon and the temperature was dropping – never a good sign.
(views of Heuan Phair, from a distance; without rain and with)
Back in my room, the temperature continued to drop. I hadn’t brought a jacket with me, this trip, so I had to rule out the ngan dawng. I called in my apologies to Xaysana and Savath, both of whom had been counting on me being there. Later, I heard the distant sounds of the party as I lay under covers, in bed, watching “The A-Team” movie. As I have many times, I remembered fondly how my sons and I used to love to watch the light-hearted TV series, back in the mid-1980s.