Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Buddha Festival

Lots of exciting things this weekend!
But I will start with the craziest rainstorm I have ever encountered!
In Chiang Rai there is this huge complex called City Plaza
It's basically a big westernized mall.
(My escape when I'm missing home)
Only problem is, it's a 20 minute walk from Bun BanDan
and who wants to walk in 90+ degree weather with 100% humidity? 
Yeah didn't think so.
But for whatever reason I could not live another minute without getting some ice cream
 So I began the Trek to the City Plaza.
Half way there a massive storm hits--
In a matter of seconds it looks as if I had jumped into a pool with my clothes on.
The wind was beginning to get a little too crazy so 

my friend Aisha and I ducked under this restaurants patio for safety.
We didn't have time to move before we were ushered inside by this random man.
We immediately began to feel terrible!
We were drenched, puddles of water formed wherever we went.
We kept trying to leave out of courtesy, but this man made us sit down.
Finally we gave in.
The man continued to explain that it was ok, he was the owner of the restaurant.

Excuse my whale arms.
 He turned out to be the sweetest man.
He gave us free drinks and refused to let him pay him for allowing us to stay,
so instead I ordered food and snuck the cashier my money.
But anyways, the entire time we were there he was making conversation with us.
He had very excellent English.
   He is a doctor at the local hospital and owns the restaurant on the side.
I have not met a richer man since I have been here.
He was quite impressive
and charitable!
He offered to drive us the rest of the way to City Plaza.
Such a nice man. 

I dont know what was up with me this weekend 
but, I was craving all things western!
I ate tons of American junk food and saw two movies.
The Men in Back
Snow White and the Huntsman
I know what you're thinking..
You're in Thailand, why would you waste your time watching movies?? 
well it was worth the experience
For one, when you buy your ticket you pick your assigned seat.
I felt like I was going to a base ball game or something.
Two, after the last preview everyone stands up to watch a video about the monarch.
Scared me the first time around. I had no idea what was happening!
The video seemed a bit manipulated and kinda brain-washing material 
but it was so interesting to be a part of it. 
P.S. Men in Black was great! and Kristin Stewart ruined Snow White. Most awkward kisser ever. Makes me cringe to watch.   

With all of the other western treats I got that day this had to be the best.
I was tearing up from happiness.
Toilet Paper And a normal Toilet
I felt like such a lucky girl.

Besides that it things were pretty normal

I went to the Saturday night market

Ate at my favorite Pad Thai place
Only cost 30 baht (one dollar) for the best pad thai around

You just have to consume at your own risk.

I got picked up in a Song Tao filled with mattresses
Vehicle safety isn't that important around here. I've only seen a seat belt once, and it wasnt being used.

I ate some bugs
Tastes pretty good
Almost like popping popcorn into your mouth
I'm not sure why the picture looks like I have two massive beauty marks on my face

Recieved a crayon colored rock from a student
It was pink

 Cuddled with a stray cat
Sorry blake.
It was great. Best cuddle sesh since i've been here

Had a great lesson with somemore monks

Couldn't leave the school without taking pictures.
typical me.

 Saw a bunch of cows herded randomly by the highway

Went to the border to get my visa renewed for another 15 days
so now I've technically been to Burma and Thailand.
I think it's cool.

Couldn't stay long though cause I had to get to Mirror in time to go to the 
Buddha Festival
Which is a celebration of Buddha's Birthday
So a normal week.. right?

So the Budda Festival was split into two events.
Our first stop was at a Temple in the city.

When we got there we did a ceremony of sorts.
First thing required was to take off our shoes.
Buddist consider the head holy and the feet to be unclean
so you never touch another with your feet, step over them, or touch thier heads.

Second, you are handed a flower bouquet-thing that also has a candle and incense.
You only light the incense on fire.

Then you must walk around the temple three times
with the incense blowing into your face and eyes.

After your three times around you light up your candle, drip some wax and stand it up on this table.
Then you sit down and listen to the monks chanting and singing inside the temple.
So amazing 

Then we moved on to the 
Light temple. 
I have been dying to go.
 So happy I got to see it during one of the biggest Buddist holidays of the year!

 It was absolutely breathtaking


 And the ritual here was about the same as the other temple.
From a nice lady I met I found out the three laps around the temple symbolize
and Buddha.

Big difference though was that at the end thousands of these lanterns were set free into the air.
One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

And if the lanterns weren't enough, there was a firework show afterwards!
These Thai's really know how to celebrate.


  1. I cannot believe all that you are seeing and doing. Great job on these posts!
    Enjoy it darlin---You will be missing it once you are back in class in a few weeks...It will all seem like it was a dream, huh? Loved the lanterns!

  2. I am definitely NOT sick of these posts! I just cannot believe all the incredible experiences you are having. You are such a good writer, I could read on forever, I am sad when the post is over. Love and miss you!