Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kafka With Cobwebs - October the 12th, 2010

Kafka With Cobwebs

We live on a dirt road around the corner from an Embassy, down the street from a paved road that leads to another Embassy if you turn right. There is another Embassy if you turn left and go around the market and go straight after the textile factory. On one of our dirt roads there is a massage place.

That pretty much is our address.

You can learn more about the particular urban geography of Vientiane in a few days when I post about Vat Sokpaluang.

In the mean time, suffice it to say that no postman ain’t coming by anytime soon with your parcels, letters and ant-traps (as requested in “Minor Inconveniences”). No one really knows we’re here other than the village chief and the boys playing pétanque and the secret police and the guys monitoring the spy satellites from the Pentagon … but no one really knows we’re here. No one important, like a postman.

So like everybody else who lives on a dirt road with no name and potholes galore, we have a POB.

And every few days I ride down to the Central Post Office to see if all those packages have arrived. I have been told that packages are opened and inspected by the Customs Department of the Central Post Office and that this inspection is billed directly to the client! Kind of like having to pay the power bill for your electric chair!

The POB section of the Bureau de Poste is beautiful. The light filters in through cement gun-sights and is then further softened by age-old cobwebs. Ladies sit behind a desk. There is a ledger. Behind a series of closed doors is access to a long corridor of post office boxes. Putting mail and delivery notices in those boxes sounds like Kafka’s wet dream.

If you want to make the postman’s dream come true, you can write us or send us ant-traps:


Boite Postale 5704

Bureau de Poste Central

Vientiane Capitale

1 comment:

  1. The kafkaesque universe does not appeal to me in the least mon cher Mair! For you it is an exotic exploration...for me it would mean instant alarm against a nightmare that i lived and relived for some 25 years... just the sight of those corridors and postal boxes fills me with utter dread! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...chilly down my spine!