chapter  4
34 Pages

“Nous n’avions plus qu’à faire des recherches méthodiques”

One afternoon in October 2007, 12 years after the author talked to her the first time and having been approached by her 20 times or so, he see her from the air-conditioned cafe he have made into his afternoon office as she crosses the street. She has spotted a traveller, resting alone in the shade at an odd stone table by the street. She is in her thirties, beautiful, although perhaps slightly too thin to look healthy. She has a curious set of clothes for a Lao woman: a bright purple silk blouse over a long-sleeved black t-shirt, slim-cut designer knock-off jeans, and a pair of blue Wellingtons, cut off at her ankles. Her hair is in a bun fixed by a golden hairpin, and she is carrying a rucksack, a plastic bucket, and a handbag of the kind Paris Hilton wore last year.