Oh lovely Saturdays. It was nice to sleep in a bit today. No Sun Tao Taxi honking to take me to massage class. The Sun Tao's are slightly larger than the Tuk Tuks and are normally red trucks with bench seats in the covered bed. The Tuk Tuks are largely for tourists and are thus more expensive. They are three wheeled little mini vehicles, black and sometimes adorned with the silliest assortment of neon blinking lights, rope lights and blaring music speakers to attract the next set of tourists. Reminiscent of Burning Man vehicles actually and I always get a pang of homesickness when I see one of the lit up Tuk Tuks go by. Speaking of home, I had a Burning Man dream last night. I was walking onto the playa on Sunday afternoon, just before the whole week was about to begin, with an unknown older man. Mid sentence I just had to stop to give out a hollering woop of excitement, as I jumped around and pounded my feet on the dusty ground. I was so incredibly happy to be there. Funny because this just might be the first year in the last 4 that I won't be able to make it home. A huge part of my heart wants to buy a return ticket just to go to Burning Man but my higher mind knows that this is just silliness. I should go home when I feel I am done learning what I came abroad to learn, or when I am really sick of traveling. Either way, Burning Man happens every year and should be taken out of the equation. Says my higher mind. My heart ache hasn't subsided.
After rolling out of bed today at a leisurely 10:00 I arranged to meet up with a friend to see the Doi Suthep temple that sits above Chang Mai. It is a breathtaking temple. The whole thing glows in gold and the adornments are endlessly intricate. I've posted a few photos but they hardly do it justice. All around the inside of the temple were places to make offerings and pray. People would buy these hand woven flowers from vendors around the temple and perhaps also pay to light candles and incense and then would bow in prayer to the numerous gold Buddha statues in the temple. The funny thing was, little children would gather up offered flowers and bring them back to the vendors to be sold yet again! Quite a good profit margin there I expect. I wanted to take part in the prayers and the offerings but I felt like it would be wrong. I don't really know what I am praying to, even though I greatly respect Buddhism and identify with Buddhist beliefs. So I just watched as people made a sort of pilgrimage around the inner most ring of the temple, hands clasped at their chests in prayer, flowers, candles and incense sticks held between their palms. I watched as others entered smaller chambers of the temple to receive yellow bracelets and bow in prayer to more glittering statues of the Buddha. I watched as still others lit yellow candles and placed them in long metal candle holders in front of a reclining Buddha. Outside the temple, young dancers in traditional Thai dance costume, performed dance routines to raise money for their dance school. I could tell they were very tired of doing this dance, as some wore scowls and their movements were not well coordinated or articulate. As we completed our walk around the outside of the temple we saw long rows of huge heavy bell-shaped gongs that people would ring as they went past, as well as ever more intricate and beautiful shrines to the Buddha.
On our way back to town we stopped at a waterfall where families and couples gathered to picnic in the temperate afternoon. The waterfall was just beautiful so I've included a few photos of it as well. I climbed up to the top to rinse my hair and face, which felt wonderful at the time but soon the water in my hair and clothes felt heavy and hot in the humidity. Still it was an unusually cool day today, and a gorgeous day to lounge beside a waterfall and watch adorable young children splash around in the underlying stream. Certainly, quite a nice day.
A fiery fairy who has set off to explore Asia and discover new things about the world and herself. The journey is one to fully realize her strength and an unwaivering faith in her personal power.