Tomorrow, 2nd December, is the Laos National Holiday. In preparation for the holiday, they have draped Lao flags everywhere, and also hammer and sickle “go communism!” flags adorn every official building in town.
The library organized a day of “clean up the library” gardening, in which Mr. Somephone climbed to the top of the trees outside and cut off the tops.
I helped sweep the sidewalk! Then I got attacked by red ants. After the yardwork was done, Mrs. Bounsalong and Mrs. Phaiwaddy made some Tom Maheun (papaya salad). Mrs. Bounsalong LOVEs chilis. She put so much chili in that all of the library staff were crying, literally. They had tears streaming down their faces, and they kept saying “phet lai !” (very hot!), but they kept eating it anyway. I only had a few bites, and my face almost melted off.
Then Mr. Somxay, Mrs. Bounsalong, and I were sitting at a table, and Mr. Vaykhoun came up to us, and said “oh I’m sooo tired”. and Mrs. Bounsalong said “Oh! because he just got married! Now he doesn’t sleep at night!” and then Mr. Somxay said “Yes, 5 times a night, he works with his wife”. And Vaykhoun blushed, and Mr. Somxay said “For me, one time per month only!” and we all laughed, and then I said “You would never have this kind of conversation in an office in America.” and Mr. Somxay, the vice-director of the library, said “Yes, you know, when the people from France first came to work at the French Language Center, they were shocked. But now they like to talk like that!”.
I also made a joke with Mrs. Bounsalong that revolves around the Lao word for map : “Panti”. I told her what “Panties” are in English, and now we always make jokes about the “Panti”. The other day I rode my bike to the University, in a skirt, and Mrs. Bounsalong said “Oh! It’s not good, you should wear trousers to ride your bicycle.” And I said “No, it’s ok, I want the Monks to see my Panties!” and she laughed at me.
Ok, I have to go teach now. I am making my students do presentations about Laos today in honor of the National Holiday tomorrow.