I have a passion for Buddhist Temples so Joy took me on the Motorcycle tour of Temples.
You can see the Naga theme repeated in these Temples and also the Chinese influence through color and the use of dragons.
I want to give these guys from Sony special mention. I showed them my camera and wanted them to see if they could replace the flash which I thought had burned out. The three of them looked at it for two seconds, pushed a button and handed it back to me all fixed. So my night shots are thanks to my new best friends here.
When ever I see a monkey I think of my dear friend from Bangkok and can't resist taking a picture for her. Here's to you Toi!
Joy and Gai are best friends and this is one of the best pictures I took of them. Joy kept trying to marry me off to her friends including Gai. For those of you looking for a great marriage partner, I highly recommend Gai. She has a beautiful spirit, a wonderful sense of humor and she owns her own home. Plus, can she ever cook. But remember, before you can meet Gai, you have to get approved by Joy!
Today is Gai's birthday. I got her a that stuffed dog and a birthday cake. Thais don't make a very big deal of birthdays but they love to celebrate. Gai said this was the best birthday she ever had. Joy and I both got Gai Birthday cakes but when I suggested we put candles on them Joy gave me a look of disgust. "We not like blow on cake with breath. Not good to spit on cake." I admitted I had never considered that but I couldn't resist pointing out that hers is the same culture that thinks nothing of eating food that has flies landing on it and grasshoppers are a delicacy here in Ubon. As if to make sense of the grasshopper thing, Joy said: "Yes, but first take legs off"
I felt like I was at a progressive supper. Joy, Gai and I got on motorcycles and went down the street where we met up with 'Oi' for a some lunch.
As we were eating, another friend showed up. I asked what her name was and as if they thought I was daft they said: "Oi! Her name is Oi!" I said: I thought the other woman's name was Oi. "Yes", Joy said. But that is small Oi. This Big Oi."
Then my buddy 'Pond'(pro.'Pone+D) showed up He's five. As soon as he saw me he sat right up beside me, I put my arm around him and that's how he stayed the rest of the day.
Pond's mother died at childbirth and his father died of Cancer before he was born. Small Oi already has two children and can't really afford to take care of him but Thais just take care of each other anyway. Oi's husband drives a bus and makes very little money and is also away alot so Pond really enjoyed having a man around on this day.
After lunch, we all got in a pickup truck and went to see some Temples.
This is a Jackfruit that was growing on the grounds of this Temple. Pond loves to have his picture taken. It's not that I kept inviting him into the shot. He just would run in to be in the picture. You'll see a lot of Pond on this day...
I had no idea what he was saying most of the time but I just did whatever he said. Just after this picture was taken Pond motioned me to take him to a walled in pond nearby. I lifted him off my shoulders and stood him on the top of the wall. I thought it was some kind of enclosed garden. I looked down and there below us, just a few feet away was a ten foot crocodile sunning himself. At first Pond looked scared but then he looked down at me and smiled. I guess he figured I would protect him so he relaxed. I have got to learn more Thai words!
We were in a Budhist Museum sitting in front of a wax figure of one of the most famous Monks in all of Thailand. Suddenly Gai's cell phone rang and everyone tried to shush her as she started talking.
Joy laughed so hard she fell down and then they all were laughing uncontrollably.
This glass case is also here. The skeleton is no one in particular. I asked Joy why this display was in a Buddhist Monk Museum. She told me it was to show us that there is nothing to fear about birth or death. She said that the inscription tells us that both are just a part of nature and not to be feared or run away from.