May the Force be with you

When you’re in the presence of a sacred place, I think you could feel it, I know it happened to me. I’ve been in many holy places before, but the one place that has such a strong force to me was the road to Vang Vieng and heading towards Luang Prabang Laos, and might be that it was the guilt that I feel, we didn’t stop to pay our respect.

This place was nothing fancy, it was a place that lies behind the curvy road, and as we drove up the mountain road of Hwy 13, I saw several cars parked along side of the road, and a group of people paying their respect to a spirit house. The smokes from their incense sticks were forming clouds above them, I asked my cousin what they were doing. He said it was Sarn Jao Pou (The Shrine of a Sacred Spirit), they’re paying their respect and asking him for a safe journey .

Our vehicle climbed up the road slowly and we passed without stopping since we didn’t have any incense stick with us, I was mesmerized by the image in front of me that I forgot to take some pictures. I silently said my prayers as we passed Sarn Jao Pou. The name of the road made me feel uneasy and might be that I grew up in the Western society where number 13 is considered unlucky, but I didn’t have a chance to ask my cousin if Lao People living in Laos feel the same way.

I’m a Buddhist, and why do I worry so much about Animism you might ask because worshiping Sarn Jao Pou is an Animistic belief. If I were raised in Laos, this would have made perfect sense because Buddhism in Laos is often closely tied to animist beliefs and belief in ancestral spirits. And here I was raised in the US, but the feeling and belief is equally as strong as Laotians living in Laos, and I’m not sure why. I often thought that having six senses is a gift, but to some that actually have it might think differently, more like a curse I would say, and at that moment as we traveled on this mountain road, I was glad that I don’t have six senses, Hwy 13 looks so treacherous and I couldn’t imagine what I would see along the way.

A long introduction to my next post, I found an interesting article written in Thai language titled “Be careful If you asked for a child from a Sacred Place.”

Fun, Funky Birthday Party

I had to work late yesterday, and didn’t think I’d make it to my co-worker’s son birthday party.  Then the birthday boy stopped by and personally invited me, twice he reminded me “…don’t forget, it starts at 6:30 tonight.”

It rained on the way there, the place was starting to get busy with kids running around, and her family gathered near the entrance and I saw a man walking over to the Mechanical Bull, I asked my co-worker if he were her cousin, she said, “Who, him?  He’s my brother!”  She said that I could blog about him, see how long he’d last on this “Mechanical Bull”…only a few second.

After he found out what  I was going to do with the photos, he looked at me and said, “You’re crazy!”  I told him, “Hey, I’m not the one on the Mechanical Bull and being airborne.”  He showed me his injury, bruises and scratches, thanks for the good laugh, closeup image, and to think that I’m the crazy one 🙂 .

The birthday boy saying grace before meals.

Cake time, Happy Birthday little man.

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