A Travellerspoint blog

200 Buddhas Temple - Bangkok, Thailand

i didn't count them all

sunny 35 °C
View Nanning & Cambodia and Thailand on grmoski's travel map.

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The 200 Buddhas Temple was a complex of a few halls and a large courtyard surrounded by galleries full of Buddhas. I didn't have time to look at, or count, all of the Buddhas, but was able to see some monks.
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The largest Buddha was a standing Buddha and a monk was in the hall for what appeared to be spiritual consultations. It was nice to see some people there talking with him. There were other monks eating lunch out in the galleries.
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A sitting Buddha was in a beautifully painted red hall. It was interesting to see smaller Buddhas in front of the larger sitting Buddha, as if the smaller ones were worshiping the larger Buddha. I don't understand a lot about Buddhism, but the circular worship between Buddhas was interesting.
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There was a smaller Buddha that wasn't behind glass. Like many Buddhas throughout Thailand, visitors could place small squares of gold leaf on this Buddha as a form of worship or honor. This Buddha seemed more human, not less divine, but a more accessible understanding Buddha, because there was no physical barrier between it and the visitors. It was also closer to human scale and not so perfect. It seemed as though it was a Buddha that people would relate to more closely.
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Posted by grmoski 22:45 Archived in Thailand Tagged photography Comments (0)

Kunming Flower Market

so many colors

semi-overcast 15 °C
View Nanning & Yunnan Trip on grmoski's travel map.

Our travel group spent about an hour at the famous Kunming flower market. There was a wide variety of flowers, both living and cut, dried, and artificial. Craftsman took dried flowers and made new artificial flowers from them. Individually wrapped flowers are a testament to the cheap labor in China, and the need to create jobs for such a large population.

There were pre-planted flowers that you could buy and take home to grow. They came in little earthenware eggs, plastic cups, saw dust filled stockings, etc. I bought some in the cups and set them in my office window (as soon as they sprouted the rats in the office building ate them).

There were also large stores selling all kinds of flower products from shampoo to jewelry, potpourri, pillows, and essences. There was also a wide variety of artificial flowers and flower art. I decided to take lots of macro shots and make a fast paced slide show to record my time in the market. Get ready for some color.....

Posted by grmoski 17:19 Archived in China Tagged photography Comments (1)

Chinese Generosity

finding a cultural balance

semi-overcast 30 °C

Yesterday I was taking the bus back from the electronics market. When I got on all of the seats were filled and there were a few people standing.

A man immediately got up from his seat and offered it to me. I knew this particular seat was one reserved for older passengers, should any need it. I also knew that many more people would be getting on the bus in the next couple stops. I declined taking the seat. The man offered again, and again. I continued to stand as I thanked him and declined his offer.

He continued to stand as well, leaving the seat empty. A couple stops later an older woman came and sat down. In between those stops, when the seat was empty, I thought about how publicly displayed excess can be a symbol of wealth in China. Similar to banquet dinners, where more food than necessary is always ordered and at the end your glass should still be filled, showing that you could have had more than you did.

I recently started rereading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. The Chinese combination of dignity and poverty strikes me more now than when I read it in high school. I recognize so many things from Wang Lung's life in the lives around me today, but thankfully starvation is not one of them.

The balance between being polite and accepting the gracious generosity of my Chinese brothers and sisters and declining their kindness because I do not want to be treated exceptionally well just because I am a foreigner, is always difficult for me.

The Chinese always give to me out of their honor and respect, and never (according to my perception) out of obligation, whether it be sincere or not. This is difficult for me in two ways. First, it challenges my own insecurities about being a deserving person, which has evolved into an ongoing lesson of how to graciously accept generosity without being arrogant or feeling the extreme entitlement that is so fundamental to American culture. Second, I do not want to dishonor the generosity that is offered to me, but in most cases is it unnecessary and truly backward, as I typically have more means to be generous than most of my Chinese friends.

China constantly teaches me lessons on humility and generosity, gratitude and acceptance. The Chinese culture I experience is one of great cooperation and togetherness and is in fatally sharp contrast to the fierce independence and selfishness that is the center of American living. I wish the Chinese could appreciate what they have and not look to the west for so much cultural "inspiration."

Posted by grmoski 15:22 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (4)

Dump Truck Accident

don't worry, no one was hurt

sunny 32 °C
View Nanning & Rongshui on grmoski's travel map.

Last year I was on a business trip to a Miao ethnic village in Rong Shui county. The road from Rong Shui to the village was a windy dirt road through the mountains. One of the bridges was being rebuilt so there was a temporary dirt road built over several concrete pipes that served as a temporary bridge.

The dump truck was carrying rocks and had already overturned before we arrived. A crane was there trying to lift it up, but they failed and gave up. We finally got by, but on the way back the road was blocked again, for the second and successful attempt.

We did go swimming after I finished filming. Two of my colleagues and I stripped down to our underwear and joined the kids in the river. The current was strong and it was deep near the rock you can see the kids sitting on. I would never do this in America, but it's no big deal here, some guys were bathing in the river in their underwear while we waited!!!

Posted by grmoski 19:45 Archived in China Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Test Entry for My New Blog

let's hope that this website won't get blocked by the chinese government too!

overcast

I quit my spaces.live.com blog because Microsoft sucks.

I converted to blogspot.com because I love Google (I can't believe I didn't start out with this one, sorry honey).

The Chinese government blocked all blogspot.com URLs.

Not only did I lose access to my blog, but I can't check any of my friends' and family's blogs either. I particularly miss my sister-in-law DaNette's blog. She's a great blogger, and has a new baby to blog about. Sorry Livia.

I considered using the qzone.qq.com blog but, of course, it's all in Chinese and would take me forever to get to know.

The other day I suddenly realized that there are more free blog services than those listed above....so I searched for free travel blogs. I found a few but this one seems to be the best. So here's my first entry, as a test to see how this system works. I hope to be up and running again soon.

Posted by grmoski 17:06 Comments (0)

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