Thursday, October 8, 2009

One night in Bangkok and a couple in Laos

Would you believe, I actually did make it to the sunrise ritual where the monks recieve food offerings this morning. Can't say that I was particularly spiritually moved by it all though. Lao children average 3 years of school, so a boy's best shot at an education is being turned over to the care (and feeding, to be pragmatic) of a monestary.

Much like we experienced in India, any hired drive seems to involve many stops at specific venues that sell food and/or souveners. Gives you a chance to take photos.

Sunset from my room in Vangleng.

There is a seriousness about the Loatians. They seem to enjoy being parents though - lots of playing with kids.

Getting impossible to find a temple you can light up at these days. Go figure.


Kids love to sign "peace" and get their photo taken. Note the koala shirt. I don't know what this sign means...."You look American, do you have any guns?" perhaps.

I loves me the welders.

Oh, and this. This still confuses me. On a number of levels.
Overall, the trip is very much what I expected, both in terms of the positives and negatives. Of course I’m deeply moved by the people of Thailand and Laos. The food is unbelievably good, though I’ve eaten quite a few bugs. Just today I’ve fished a few dozen ants out of my tea and soup. The cockroaches, bedbugs, lizards and leeches are actually more manageable than I would have thought. Would have thought I would just come completely unglued with each one, but still holding it together….building character. The landscapes, temples, architecture and climate are all fabulous.

More than anything, I’m loving the logistics of traveling with one of these low-budget tours. We get to see a lot of different areas, have a guide who bears the brunt of all the major decisions and solves all the big problems, and I had to do almost no prior planning. I hadn’t expected however, that 10 out of the 12 people in my group would have already been travelling together as a group through Vietnam for last few months and have made quite a close family to break into. The average age is also about 25, so staying out late, tickle fights and drama abound.

Do you ever wonder what you would do differently if you got to go back to high school?

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