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Laos

chapter 4: chatting to monks in Wat Sop

07th October 2002 (old email posing as travel blog)

hey hey....

well, the highlight today was chatting to 2 monks from Wat (temple) Sop...
we rode past this Wat, and i saw this group of monks sitting on the ledge of the temple and wanted very much to take a photo of them. so i stopped, reversed, and asked them if i could.
then we started chatting...
one of them... his name is Loy, wanted very much to chat to panda. he asked me twice(!) why panda wasn't talking to him. so panda got off her bike and went to chat with him on the temple grounds, while i stayed by the side of the road chatting to my favourite monk - Sithat Velyvang =)
they are so lovely.

Sithat had just recently come to luang prabuang from his village is Sainyabuli, to become a monk. and it was within these 3 months that he learned to speak english and i was very very impressed! we could actually hold a decent conversation...
he said he studied very very hard.
he had to wake up at 4 every morning to pray and meditate, and then at 6am, they start their rounds around the city. (we're going to be there tomorrow morning to offer them sticky rice). and he doesn't go to bed till 11.30pm-12mn.
he also said he wants to be a tour guide when he grows up. first he'd need to leave the monastry and go to vientiane and study for 3-4 years at the lao-australia school, or the lao-america school.

he also said that today was Lao National Teachers' Day, which was why they're so free. and with his accent, i thought he said Lao National Jesus Day! i was a l'il confused but after much to-ing and fro-ing, we managed to work out what he was trying to say.

Loy later invited us to visit his temple/school.
we were sitting in the garden outside their classrooms and learning more about them, and vice versa.

panda and i were ecstatic to be given this opportunity to chat to them! we were on a high when we left the temple grounds.
i don't have to swim across the distance to caress those clouds anymore... i think i touched them today =)

we shopped lots today too. so many beautiful lao handicrafts and fabric! we feasted our eyes on all the colours and shapes and ... and... everything!
we went to this market and everyone was asking me to "make them lucky" by buying something from them 'cos no one has yet bought anything.
"today no lucky.... make me lucky please...."
but please don't get me wrong, they weren't begging or anything, and it wasn't much of a hassle....
it was just very hard to walk away from these stalls and proceed to the next. one of them actually used the money i bought something with, and waved it over their wares, to bring them luck with customers.

we visited a couple of wats (temples) today and they were amazing! the biggest wat we visited was called Wat Xieng Thong and it was beautiful! it was built in the mid-16th century, by the mekong river. it was one of the only two wats that was spared destruction when the Black Flag Haw invaded. not quite sure what the black flag haw is yet, but i remember reading somewhere that they might be some chinese warrior group. have to do some researching!
i have become quite the l'il researcher according to panda!

panda had to finish the day (as is the tradition) with a Beer Lao by the Mekong. while chichi had a coke-light.
again, there were big black/brown/grey butterflies fluttering about.
i was again imagining surrounding/wrapping myself with a white bubble.
but the clincher came when one flew straight into my face!
panda sculled the rest of her beer, and we left.

anyway, panda's waiting for me to go to dinner.

loving this place more and more,
chi.

Posted by Chi 17:59

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