What Buddha Never Taught Me

chiang rai kodak film

Kodak Film

The year 2019 sounds so futuristic remembering a 1996 visit of Thailand. I feel nostalgic tonight. Photography then was archaic when we have to use a real camera, a film and the negatives processed. I could never tell whether the photos would turn good or exposed. It was an expensive process and hobby.

Golden Triangle, Thailand

The first time I’ve seen an ordinary orange poppy was at Golden Triangle not exactly the plant grown for opium purposes. Golden Triangle is at the tip of Thailand at the confluence of Mekong River between Thailand, Laos, and Burma.  I stayed with the natives for rest and relaxation, time off from being a volunteer to take care of aids babies in Chiang Mai. As to how I survived the trip in the back of an open truck with no canopy under the hot Thai sun, driven by a maniac driver and crazy interstate, only my angel knows.

Chiang Rai Hill Tribes

Hill Tribes, Chiang Rai

I stayed in a local village with the family of one of the workers at ABC (Aids Baby Centre). This is far from a first-class resort, but the price was right: free board and lodging. Being here as native as Thai could be without any tourist, it feels good to be with them and assimilate even though the only word I know is “Sawadee Ka or Krap”, a simple hello; ka for a female and krap for a male. Here, they treat their elephants with kindness and care.

Wat, Thailand

Thailand is a Buddhist country.  Wats (temple) are all over the place, monks in orange robes walk in line first thing in the morning holding their begging bowl for food. The community is more than happy to provide sustenance to them to earn merit so that when they die, their soul will skip Bardo and fly directly to Nirvana. (OK, I am making this up.) 

Fashionable Monks

Postcard Perfect

What Buddha never thought me was not to kill mosquitoes.  Unfortunately, these pesky winged creatures have no purpose on earth but to torment people. For some Thailand is an exotic place. It may well be due to beautiful women, beaches and tropical climate. The people are very friendly and hospitable.

Thailand was a trip of a lifetime that I did not experience the white sandy beaches nor my feet ever felt the warm salty water of the ocean,

Without reflection, photography literally wouldn’t be possible.
Without spiritual reflection, photography wouldn’t be meaningful.
~ Scillagre “Reflection”

Thank you, Amy, for the challenge that helps me recall the memory of the trip. I have to think long and hard about it.

19 thoughts on “What Buddha Never Taught Me

  1. Not true! Mosquitoes DO torment people, but they also serve a greater purpose. They feed fish and birds and pollinate important plants, like blueberries in Alaska. As much as we hate them, they are also part of the great circle of life. Enjoyed your post.

    • I agree with some benefits of this pest that carries diseases such as malaria. I have to take precautions with this so … splat! Thank you for reading and your reflection.

  2. Great story, and a great trip by the look of it. You might of guessed I have traveeled through there in the past. Beautiful countryside, although I never got to stay with the locals. Just my $1 a night backpacker places!

  3. Love this Perpetua. That photo of the monks at the steps is extraordinary. We visited Thailand a few years back. It’s a charming and friendly country and it seems they embraced you while-heartedly. And you them

    • The monks, the monks, the monks. They are all over the place starting from a tender age to ancient. Your shot with them using the umbrella painted curious in my mind what they appear from the front. Thailand is a great place, Tina.

  4. Thank you,Perpetua for sharing the trip you took in 1996, and share your memories. I recall how expensive to process those film and how long it took. The trip in the back of an open truck with no canopy under the hot Thai sun is so brutal. glad you made it…These photos are precious.
    Thank you for joining in the weekly challenge.

  5. Wonderful memories like this feel so far away and yet so near, like it was last year. My one chance to go to Thailand was derailed by a broken collarbone so I always read longingly about the trips others have made!

Please share your reflection. Thank you.

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