Monday, February 4, 2008
It was the rainy season in Vientiane, Laos, and three friends headed out into the surprisingly cool afternoon to the local market, where they planned to stock up on food. Along the way, they walked by Pha That Luang (Great Stupa), the 16th century Buddhist stupa that commands the northeastern skyline of the Laotian capital.
As they passed by, the women thought to themselves about the hundreds of times they'd seen the Great Stupa, and how each time has been quite a powerful experience. And how this monument, which has stood in this spot for centuries, is more than just a national symbol, but something that makes them stop and think about things other than the world immediately in front of them.
This realization, they thought to themselves, was a pretty powerful thing, mainly because it lifted them up and distracted them from the grind of their day to day lives.
Then the wind kicked up, and there was thunder heard in the distance. The women looked at each other, and someone might have said "Looks like rain". And they all knew it was time to be getting on to the market.