Thursday, November 6, 2008


I thought I should include some photos of just one of hundreds of beautiful, ornate temples that decorate the city of Chiang Mai. One must remove his or her shoes to enter the sacred space and although the thick red carpet absorbs a great deal of sound, I felt like I needed to tiptoe around this fascinating place. Again, I am an absolute moron when it comes to Buddhism, so I found myself observing the monks and the gold statues much like a child -- with confusion and curiosity, even a little bit of caution. I wanted to burst out laughing when I saw my first "farang" monk-- a tall white kid straight out of an Indiana basketball game with goofy tennis shoes, a closely shaved head, and awkward, thick glasses. But I guess all young men are welcomed to try out monk-hood.

The food is delish-- 70 cents will get you an exquisite meal nearly anywhere. There are food carts filled with fried bananas, meat skewers, and iced teas. Amazing curries are a dime a dozen and there are markets filled with rows and rows of fresh fruit and every imaginable noodle/rice dish and other spicy delights. I basically ate my way thru the last two weeks. Know what is good? Sautéed Morning Glory-- not the flower part, but the vines and leaves. Yummy.

Brett, Shelly and their girls Acacia and Anna lit this lantern for me just before I left Thailand. This lovely tradition can symbolize one's prayers and good wishes for a loved one as they depart. The mystery of physics and fire (neither of which I understand) raise lanterns like these into the night sky until they are miniature gold flecks.

What a lovely week.

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