Happy Lao New Year!

Vanipha Lanna Restaurant

You think I’m kidding, right? Like we would make that part up so we can celebrate New Year’s yet again? Well maybe we would, but we didn’t have to:

Wikipedia: Lao New Year – April 13 to 16 (this year it’s April 15)

There are several variations of wishing people on the occasion of the Lao New Year with the most common expression being souksan van peemai or sabidee pimai which in English means “Happy New Year.”

We didn’t even have to look around for a Laotian to make this remotely legitimate, we have one in our midst: Aussie-raised Anf, who was born in Laos and shared his roots with us. He even brought handouts, like we were in a proper language class.

… and, just like in class, there was plenty of goofing off.

drop the puck!

We took our New Year’s hornblower thingies and turned them into hockey sticks. My lens cap was the puck!

This is how we indoctrinate foreigners into Canadian culture: everything turns into a hockey game. Charles even turned into a human Zamboni and smoothed out the tablecloth for a level playing field. It’s a good thing the restaurateurs seemed unperturbed by it all, because we were noisy enough for a real hockey game.

From St. Clair West some went home while the rest of us moved on to the Gladstone Hotel to meet with other CSers for some beverages and a game of pool. There was a time in Australia when I was a bit of a pool shark, when I played on a daily basis — as a means to win beer, mostly. (Lachlan the Scot and Paul from Belfast taught me well.) Nowadays I’d be lucky to break without poking myself in the eye with the pool cue, so I stick to photography.

rack 'em up

I really, really like the atmosphere in this photo:

making a play

View Larger On Black

Jose’s intense concentration, the angle, motion blur, the woman’s body position at the periphery, the shadow on the wall… I wish I could take photos like this more often!

The photoset from the evening can be viewed as thumbnails, a slideshow, or clicked through in the Pictobrowser.

Also here:

Gail at Large

Canadian expat, freelance photographer, blogging daily for nearly 12 years. Close to 5,000 posts across 95 categories, there is something here for everyone -- especially if you like travel photography.

Moved to Portugal Autumn 2013. Also lived in Australia, Scotland, and the USA. Native English speaker, learning Portuguese. Apologies to the locals for my terrible pronunciation!
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