Saturday, December 20, 2008

an early morning excursion

This morning, like many other mornings, abacus was awake and talking loudly, the way a fire alarm talks, at 6am. So we decided, instead of our usual ritual of trying in vain to shut her up, we that we would take her for another motorcycle ride, to a giant buddha 3kms out of town, as there's no where we can go to keep her penetrating screams from the other guests. The early morning is freezing so we had her bundled up and wedged once more between us as  we rode along the dawn highway. The road was quiet with only trucks transporting workers to where ever they were going. Just out of town, one of the lanes disappeared into gravel, which no one drove on, creating a single lane highway, but so commonplace are such things, that it was approached with the banality of routine, and no sense of risk at all. Abacus began crying again part way along, though we were the ones bearing the brunt of the chilled morning air. The wat complex was huge, with ornate buildings everywhere and some workers chopped at a tree which lost large parts of its body with resounding cracks. As we walked through the quiet morning attendence, we were looking for a giant reclining Buddah and then suddenly you see it, a giant face between a couple of the buildings, which danielle likened to seeing Tane Mahuta for the first time, the giant amongst giants, its presence startling your expectations. Buddhas face looks with that feminine serenity of south east asian design, laying in contentment before the tiny people and their offerings. Across the way were about 20 identical  buddha, all lined up behind a cage, with the look of a carnival sideshow, where someone might try to aim ping pong balls into their mouths. On our way back to our scooter we saw a little monk boy with a friend who had a bb gun shaped like an AK-47 shooting birds, I tried to get a photo but the boy with the gun didn't want to be photographed, I would have thought the buddhist monk would have shied away from being photographed with someone killing creatures more than the guy with the gun. We rode back screaming once more through the early morning chill, our rent had run out on the bike, much to Abacus' relief, she had a much more enjoyable time in the pram on the way to get Pancakes and bacon and a crap huge coffee at Daves Canadian and then a real coffee on the way home, she fell asleep along the way.

As we don't have baby food here, we bought some bananas and mashed them up with a pestle and mortar, but when she tried the banana she started to freak out, shaking her hands with wide eyes before she started crying, then when we tasted it we realised that there must have been some chilli residue left in the mortar from some grining up chillis and so the bananas were spicey. So that was her introduction to spicey food i guess. It wasn't really, really spicey, just a mild tingling.

Abacus slept a lot of the afternoon. Maybe we should just get up with her every morning. I went for a walk to get some supplies and spent a bit extra on my way home, doling out coins to all the starving mothers along the way, it's pretty hard to know someone could go starving for no good reason, i wish i could do more to help them. 

We went to the borderline shop for dinner again, they have such good burmese food for really cheap. We also found out that they no longer issue 30 day visas after visiting Burma, it's now only 15, so we'll have to cross the border three times before we leave. It's a shame we can't see much of Burma on the otherside, I've heard it likened to going to Tiajuana and saying you've been to Mexico, it's just another border town. 

We walked back as the wild dogs were crawling out from their shady hiding places from the afternoon heat, finding now their warm spots in the middle of the road beneath the setting sun, grudgingly moving for scooters sounding their horns with courteous little "excuse me please"es. 


atmosphrericks said...

choice. i like serene buddha more than jolly buddha. he just seems more wise.

it seems like you're getting used to the place... and abacus too.

keep up the dog stories.

the weather is hella nice today. i think its a window of opportunity. happy solstice.

abacus' parents said...

solstice already ? i'm still wearing white !