Perhaps one of the most iconic falang institutions of Vientiane, Sticky Fingers (or more affectionately, Stickys), is the place everyone hates to love. Stickys represents every cliché that all falang seeking a “cultural experience” desperately try to avoid, yet its gravitational pull still manages to drag them in every Wednesday and Friday.
The siren call of half price cocktails is irresistible to all falang above (or somewhat below) the drinking age, be they WIG members, NGO “volunteers,” or international school
students staff. It’s the place to see and be seen…or see the people you’ve been trying to avoid. It’s difficult to reconcile a love of Tom Yum Martinis with a desire not to make small talk with every falang you’ve ever been introduced to at an awkward house party.
On Fridays, arrive early or risk being relegated to the second floor, or to a blue plastic chair on the fringes of the patio. Once your spot is secured, order a round of jugs. It’s a great opportunity to “practice” Lao ordering skills with forgiving staff who will completely understand your Lao-glish. Sit back, and enjoy identifying backpackers by their need to look at the menu on the roadside. Occasionally, the wrong kind of falang will infiltrate Stickys but they are generally (thankfully) kept at bay by the sheer multitudes of cocktail-crazed falang.
Despite the clichés, it’s hard not to love Stickys. Inevitably in a post-Vientiane life, falang will look back fondly on memories of times spent at this dimly lit, orange-walled hangout with nostalgia. Or at least what they can still remember of it after three jugs of Passionfruit Margaritas.