It must be difficult to live in a showcase town dressed up as someone you are not, and still continue with your everyday life as a boy, against all odds.
It’s cool to take pictures of, but after all, orange is just a colour, and robes are just a kind of clothing, if you see it that way.
You go inside and there are posters of rock stars and comic books and CD players, and feeble attempts to keep all the ancient rules.
You go to the waterfall, and there they are jumping in the pool, and then of course the batteries go dead and you are struggling with salmonella anyway, throwing up in the bushes. I wish I could attach mental photos.
Can’t be an easy life, with early morning wakeup calls, endless hours of chanting and reading scriptures, and knowing that there is no other way to survive and get an education in such an unfortunate country with a shattering history of poverty. But they were all eager to talk and practise their English. Like, all the time, anywhere.
I wish I could tell all the monk stories I know, but they are kind of private.
It was the worst smog of the decade, in 2007. Truly terrible, the photo doesn’t even do it justice. Usually you couldn’t even see the other bank of the Khong river. Which is of course the Mekong for the uninitiated. But I digress. I’ll come back here sometime later. Or not.