Monday, 21 November 2011

Why I live in Laos.

Why I live in Laos.

I am sitting in my guest house room at The Samxay Hotel in Vientiane, Laos, at 6am on November 21st.

I am experiencing a level of peace that few are lucky enough to know -  an experience far removed from life in any other capital city.

The weather is perfect T- shirt temperature, dawn has just broken, and the monk at the local temple has just gently rung the unheeded wake-up gong. Even the fish in the pond have not yet rippled the surface in search of food.

The birds are singing, and no traffic can yet be heard. The cocks are crowing, and in the distance a dog occasionally barks. The loudest sound is the computer fan.
Occasionally there is a scuffle in the room as the five kittens from two mothers, who  all awoke to the gong, have a battle with a toy.

And now the fridge kicks in and takes over as the loudest sound.

Peace! Peace! Peace!

And you ask "Why do you live in Laos?"

Vientiane has so many unique temples that it makes the thirty six temples in the old city of Chiang Mai, Thailand look bland.

Take this for example

"Wat Inpeng – The Wat Inpeng is not only a temple but a historical landmark that represents the Laotian arts and culture. The temple is adorned with a variety of Buddha images, rock sculptures, and rock columns that depict the Khmer and Mon cultures. It has been said that the king of the gods transformed himself into an old wise man to assist with construction. Legend also states that the god transformed himself specifically into an old white monk to help construct the Buddha image. From such stories did the Wat Inpeng get its name, which means “to transform”.

Now where can you get nearer to the truth than that!

Most Laos people follow Buddhist philosophy, so they uphold the five precepts,  but in Laos they uphold only four as the national sport is drinking Beer Lao.

Abstain from taking life
Abstain from taking what is not given.     
Abstain from sexual misconduct.     
Abstain from false speech.
Abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.     

I think Vientiane is a perfect place to suggest and implement urban permaculture, and I think the monks at each temple could become the people who pass on the knowledge.

Look out for the next blog!
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