A Sense of Peace

Every single time a monk crosses my path I can’t help but stare. The blast of colour from their auburn robe awakens me. This striking bright shade layered onto glistening brown skin,  a cleanly shaved head and pearly white smile is just about one of the most captivating images I have ever laid my eyes on.  Simply being in their presence evokes the most powerful sense of peace. No matter what is on your mind, this sensation grabs hold of you like the strongest gust of wind and leaves you wanting more.  Stepping onto the grounds of a temple resembles entering a mysterious enchanted forest. Even if the location of the temple is right in the city center, all of the trees and greenery easily make you feel thousands of miles away from civilization. What a magnificent place to live. The temples alone are a sight to see with their detailed artwork and when placed in this setting, I have a terribly hard time ever wanting to leave. We had the opportunity to participate in a Vipassana meditation session led by the monks at a wat in Vientiane, Laos. Anticipating our session, I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning. Walking onto the grounds trying to take in as much as I could, the excitement I felt grew and grew. Wild dogs happily chased each other in the lush grass while a few monks quietly raked leaves nearby. Birds chirped a familiar song in the rustling trees surrounding the temple as we chose our pillows and sat in lotus pose. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. They began to chant. I opened my eyes and smiled at B. Oh what a wonderful day! I tried my best to shut everything else out except the cleansing sound of their voices. Completely in the moment, I inhaled light, love and serenity.

F.

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Pizza…  Gosh darn it they figured out how to make one of my favourite foods even better!  Oh Cambodia, where have you been all of my life?  Where else can you walk up to the counter at a pizza shop and see a bag of weed sitting out in plain view?  What I really mean to say is I would NEVER participate in any kind of illegal eating activities…  I’m sitting in one of the worst rooms we have had the sheer pleasure to experience on this trip.  To make it onto the worst room list it has to be a real winner, no amount of cleaning or renovation would fix these places. At this point they just need to be destroyed and put to rest.  Yes, when you are travelling on the cheap you have the opportunity to stay in some real gems.  Broken locks, doors, toilets, sinks, TV’s, air conditioners, beds.  Three drops of water trickling out of the shower head somehow can still be categorized as taking a shower.  Towels that smell like someone died in them.  Bathrooms with see through doors.  Now doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having one at all?  If you happen not to be that close to your travel buddy before the trip, now you know them REALLY well.  What the hell are these stains all over the walls?  It seems like someone tried to make sure they splashed shit and dirt in every corner of this sad room.  We should call in the CSI team to solve this wall stained mystery.  The question is, do we want to know?  Twelve dollars in Sihanoukville Cambodia gets you an air-conditioned room with curious stains all over the walls.  “Air conditioned” means, the box that sits in a corner of the room making noise, giving you the illusion that you are cooler.  In all future correspondences B. and I want to be referred to by our alias, “The Mosquito Hunters.”  “Do you see him?”  “No.”  “Brad we have to get him.”  “There he is the little fucker.”  “Kill him, kill him.”  “Bastard, I can’t believe he got away.”  “There he is, there he is!”  Menacing laugh.  “I got him.”  What a test of our love and sanity this trip has been so far.  If we don’t end up as a murder suicide headline in the news, B. will truly be my immortal beloved. “B. I can see that you’re holding a knife over my head reflected in the computer screen, put it away it’s not funny.”

Good times.

F.