11 July 2009

It Rhymes With 'Cow'

These are some 'found' film from a vacation taken about five years ago, before I had a digital camera. It is only half a roll, the other hundreds of photos I took are packed away while I moved, but I found this mystery roll under my bed, had it developed and was instantly brought back to my favorite destination. Laos.
This is the Buddha Cave, which was at least an hours boat ride from Luang Phahbang. It holds the prize as the place with the nastiest public toilet ever, but also one of the most magical places, as it is a cave filled to the brim with statues of Buddha. I will be honest and tell you I have no idea how they came to be there, or if you could leave new ones, but it was really special as its location was so very in the middle of nowhere. I remember bartering with the boat captains on how much it was to have them take us to the cave, maybe 10 dollars total.

The ladies above were the salesmen of the open air market in the same city. It was a far gentler market than those in Cambodia and Thailand. The ladies kept their babies is laundry baskets, and would provide you with a stool while you looked over their goods. 

The fruit and veg open air market  filed with food recognizable and not. They invited you to smell, poke and taste fruit foreign to you, and giggled as you laughed or squinted when you were caught off by a surprising sweetness or sourness of the food.

These were the monks robes hanging out to dry. I had always imagines that being a monk was a life's vocation, similar to nuns or priests. What I learned was that every man was expected to 'do time' as a monk, for weeks or months. They depended on locals for food, literally having bowls filled each morning. It made them that much more human to realize that the monks robe was merely something most were 'trying on' for a time.

These photographs are really hardly the best of the bunch I took there, only a few from the last roll. It was such a treat to find them and be taken back to the few weeks there is a country with no Starbucks, few ATMs or traffic lights, and a gentler way of life I miss Laos.

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