so happy it's the last day of the laos new year. stores will be opening their doors again and i can walk the streets without the danger of being splashed by buckets of water. this morning after a scandinavian breakfast i went to visit a few vientiane landmarks. first stop was wat si saket; a sign on the door said they were closed for the new year (until tomorrow), but an old man inside the temple cracked opened the door and secretly let some people in, including me. the walls of the temple are dotted with niches, each one occupied by a small buddha figurine, while bigger buddha statues line the inner cloisters. i saw the famous "waiting for rain" buddha pose, found only in laos - it looked freaky, especially with the elongated fingertips, like a space alien. next i went to the morning market, a huge complex of little shops selling electronics and clothing and jewelry, not too interesting. my 3rd destination was patuxai, this big arch in the center of town, where you can pay to go all the way to the top. for some reason photography isn't allowed upstairs, but by the time a guard came to inform me, i had already taken 50 photos. i bought a vietnamese sandwich before returning to the hotel.

during the hottest time of the day i spent inside my air conditioned room, reading my lonely planet, then eating lunch on the balcony, watching the kids splash each other with water. in the afternoon i went out again, to visit some nearby temples. nobody dare splashed me except for a handful of brave teenage boys, a few kids from the back of pickup trucks, and one over-achieving european who approached me with a bucket of water, and even though i told him i had a camera, he still splashed me anyway. "fucking asshole," i yelled at him, while his friends seemed sad that i wasn't able to fully enjoy my drenching. my foul mood was quickly changed when i ran into my drag queen friends from yesterday, now out of costume. "come see the mekong!" one of them cooed, pulling my arm in the direction of the river a few blocks away. "you're handsome," the other said, drawing an imaginary box around his face.

i returned to the hotel once more and spent the rest of the day in my room, coming out only now to write this entry, before i plan on taking a nap prior to some night market exploration later in the evening.

croissant sandwich

golden buddhas

wat si saket closed (for new year)

buddha alcoves

calling for rain buddha

view from patuxai

entering temple (shoes off)

splashing yewts