Archive for » June, 2006 «

Laos

So let me start by saying, I love Laos. After the hustle, pollution, pace, and hassle of the previous countries, at least in most parts of them, when we arrived in Laos, it just all came to a complete halt, and then there was silence. Starting from the passport man at the airport, the people were so very nice.

We arrived in the capital, Vientien, and got a place that looks over the Mekong River (shown above). We spent like a week here enjoying maybe one sight per day, talking to people and enjoying the pace and view. more »

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India

So India was quite the experience. The beeping of the horns was the same but the pollution, population and poverty were much more. However, when we were visiting the sites, aside from the locals who never quit begging and trying to sell us their wares or services (or charge us for some service they provided without us knowing like guarding our shoes when we entered a mosque), we came in contact with many Indian travelers. They were all so friendly and dressed in clean, vibrant colors.

They would usually begin communication with us by pointing us out to their children and telling them to say hi. When Punda and I would respond, the questions would start and we sometimes spent five to ten minutes talking to this family. This happened so much at certain palaces or tombs that we would actually have to keep walking sometimes after saying hi because we would not be able to see what we came to see.

These meetings were priceless though. Thefamilies would always want us to take a picture of them after. I don’t know if its because they think we as Americans like to take pictures, or if it was something to remember the brief meeting. Sometimes people would just stand right in front of us. Our driver said that some had not seen a white man. A “namaste” would break the ice. Sometimes it took them a minute to snap out of their trance. A smile was often the only communication, possibly the only mutual understanding, and always the only thing needed.

The first photo is Ghandi’s tomb located in Delhi. It is in a nice green park with plenty of trees and flowers, a total contrast to the rest of the city. The flame is always burning and a crow stood guard the entire time we were there. more »

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