11 July 2007

Lao textiles

My housemate and I spent the Saturday riding our bicycles around town visiting the textile shops and galleries around town. We are now experts! We were looking at woven fabrics that can be used as scarves, wall hangings or over furniture. There are patterns in the fabric. I can’t really describe the designs- geometric? The most expensive ones are dyed using natural dyes, made of pure silk, have the back and front looking equally neat and take up to three months to make. The most expensive weaving we saw was around 3x1m and was $3900 US. This was in a gallery was on the road that comes off That Dam on the Mekong side. It was scary how much time and care it would have taken someone to complete these weavings. I do love the Lao textiles- I’m going to have to go easy on the shopping otherwise I’ll come home with a huge amount. It’s interesting to talk to the shopkeepers about the textiles. They can tell you where they come from in Lao, and what plants are used to make the dyes.

If you would like to see what Lao textiles look like, click on the link below:


Last night I went the party of an Australian that works in Laos. I think most Aussies working in Vientiane were there. There I noticed that virtually everyone I associate with is older than me. There are only three Aussies here that are younger than me, one of those being my boyfriend A. There’s not such a great variety of Aussies here, everyone is highly educated and are most likely an NGO or government employee now and before. Probably much like Canberra. The few Aussies here makes it feel like a really small town. Any function that’s on you’ll always know quite a few people there. I guess I have to make more Lao friends! I do have a few but it’s hard to make heaps due to the language barrier and the huge wealth imbalance. The party was good. It was fun to hear Kylie songs and dance to 80s music. I didn’t get home until 3:30am which is definitely the latest is been since I’ve been here.

Looking forward to meeting some friends from home in Bangkok to watch Australia play in the Asia Cup!

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