Just when you think you can't get enough of the pop up fever that's sweeping the world, here's another one for Vientiane.
This morning, I happened to be in Vientiane Center, the city's one department-like store, and I came across an outside pop up for Thai shop Pop and Ploy (another tongue twister). And I was reminded of one of the most fun aspects of living in a new city; randomly stumbling across new and culturally quirky things.
I was entranced by the Thai blend of cute and colourful; the stalls of quirky patterned clothes arranged under red and white, candy striped tents with garlands of plastic flowers and over-sized, fruit-shaped armchairs. Loud Thai pop music played as the staff set up the stalls and sang along to the tunes.
They were still setting up so perhaps there's more to come but the bulk of this pop up is women's tops and dresses, mostly of thin material and in very cheerful and, dare I say, exuberant, patterns. Think fairies, butterflies, watermelons, cats, and pink flamingos.
There were men's and boy's cotton shirts too, in lots of fun designs of elephants, owls, flowers, and cupcakes, though less populated with fruit patterns. And what I think were boardshorts, or at least beach attire for men.
There were also cloth bags, hats, wool, and a few homeware things.
The one part that, to my mind, was lacking were girls' clothes. I was hoping for some brightly patterned cotton dresses so we could all be matching. But all I found was pink polyester with an excess of froufrou.
At the front was a red carpeted stage backed by a love-heart shaped hedge. Yes, a hedge. (Sometimes it's difficult to describe these things without sounding like I'm making it up. I'm not).
And posted around everywhere were these rather intriguing signs...
The intriguing part, of course, is why there's an illustration of a menacing, gun-toting dude amongst the happy garlands of Fruitland but my friend Jen translated: "Meet the famous, Thai soap opera actor Bom Wohapob and [other actor] Bird Taitanaa."
In honour of International Women's Day next week. All from the Pop and Ploy pop up shop at Langsuam Market, Vientiane Center! You heard it here first.
Vientiane Center is on Khouvieng Road. Langsuam Market is at the back near the pond.