Mount Phousi

January 5, 2010

Oreo Offering
Yes, that is an Oreo cookie.

While sight seeing around Luang Prabang, we had to start with the climb up Mount Phousi. The route is peppered with marigolds and sticky rice offerings. Little orange candles also pop up in unexpected spots. Tourists were buzzing around the Wat snapping photos of other tourists smiling in front of other tourists smiling for other photos. The view of the town stretching out like spokes from the green hill was like a drawing in a children’s book. Drifting smoke, motorbikes purring all over the streets obscured by lush pinks and greens.

I entered a small room where a girl was shaking a jar of incense sticks like a metronome in front of a shrine to Buddha. The scene was meditative and backlit by the opposite domed entrance way. I stood in the threshold wondering if I was even allowed in when a tourist shoved me a little to the side bent down next to me and snapped a picture. With flash.

I finally took my shoes off and went inside and absorbed the colors and suddenly felt something plop onto my head with an organic sort of thud. I had time enough to exclaim to the German woman next to me, “Something just plopped on my head,” before I actually felt around up there to find a gecko. I let out a staccato gasp and it leapt to the floor and just sat there in a curly que.

At the Foot of the Stairs
When we reached the bottom of the stairs, we ended up in an alleyway with the backs of houses butting up against a monastery with the flowing orange laundry of the novices. A little girls was on the third to last step playing with a little green propeller stuck to a straw. She rolled it between her hands and it took off into the air. We clapped and she gestured for me to pick it up and give it a whirl. I did so and again we all clapped. I asked to take her picture and she nodded. I read in the guide book that you save your prayer hand bow for adults but I gave her one anyway because she was so precious. She did so in return. I was probably terribly confusing to her.