Friday, April 04, 2014

Hong Sa, Laos

Hazy skies above the Mekong in Luang Prabang
Nan, Thailand:  1 April - 2 April
Muang Ngoen, Laos:  3 April
Hong Sa, Laos:  4 April

I’m trying to write sixteen-sentence prose sonnets about the cities we’ve visited, as it seems to be all I can manage:

A Chinese power company town.  We drive through in a minivan, from one the border town to this middle-of-nowhere place, and asphalt roads and ATMS sprout up from nothing.  Off the main road are chickens and ducks and dust, ladies in patongs and bamboo.  But in Hong Sa are giant cooling towers looming above the road, a sky perpetually coated in haze.

I want to write about my experience of the place before doing my research.  Somehow I hope against hope that it is a good power plant, and not a bad one, but I fear.  Is it wrong of me to quantify power in that way?  If it were hydroelectric, or geothermal, or solar, or wind.  Even if it were nuclear, which I have come around to.  But somehow I think it is putting more carbon dioxide in the air.

I have this new idea to carry around an Onset Computers data logger and log the carbon dioxide everywhere.  Yes, it’s 400 ppm in Hawaii, until they lose their funding.  But what is it here?  In Laos in summer when they’re burning the trees?  As we go among the countryside the sky is gray, but I also see fires burning everywhere, smoke heading towards the sky.

1 comment:

Red Sonia said...

There are some good short short story competitions and the Chinese Power Plant sonnet reads that way to me. I love it!