The houses in Laos are so flimsy, perched up on their long stilts as if waiting for the wolf to huff and puff and blow them down.

At night, skim-milk blue light shines out from open windows and doors and right through the thin reed-woven walls, so that the houses glow from inside like Chinese paper lanterns, just tethered to the ground by their skinny stilt legs. About to lift off and drift away.

A French woman I met who has been coming here for years told me she loves Laos because the people seem to treat life so lightly; as a gift. Flimsy and fragile and easily blown away.

I walk through the village and when I turn back I half expect it to have vanished, to see just a trail of vanishing lights in the dark sky.


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