06.01.2016: Woke up at 6 a.m. and got ready for making merit at the temple where a monk who is a friend of mom stays. We stopped at the fresh market during the way to buy some food for making the merit. In my religious doctrine, Buddhism, making merit means doing good things and us as Thais, we believe that making merit will bring us happiness, peaceful, and other good things you anticipate to have in your life. There are three ways of making merit: to give alms, to maintain religious commandment, and to pray. So, we bought lots of food and desserts as giving alms. Food and desserts will be given to all the monks who stay at that temple. Monks cannot buy food. Monks cannot spend money. They aren’t supposed to. Spending money is against the religious commandment as a monk. So, giving food to the monks are considered as giving alms.
We arrived at the temple around 7 a.m. then we headed right into the kitchen to arrange all the food properly on plates and bowls. When we walked into the kitchen, we met a local auntie who can only speaks Laos language. She was such a genuine kindhearted sweet lady. My mom told me she comes to make merit here everyday, every morning. The kitchen was full of laughs and funny conversations. We were mostly talking in body language and partly Laos. Auntie tried talking to us in Thai as we couldn’t really understood all the things she said and she couldn’t really understood what we said but then we both ended up talk in Body language plus Laos language to each other. (Thank goodness we know a bit of Laos language)
We gave foods to the monks, we prayed and then we were blessed by the monks. After that we went back to the kitchen to have breakfast. I feasted on heaps of sticky rice, chili paste, and steamed bamboo shoots. The chili paste was holy moly TASTY! It was hot, spicy, and it was just perfectly paired with sticky rice. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the foods. I left my camera in the car 😦
Anyway, we then headed to my mom’s friend’s house to pick her up ( with her car she offered us to use) We took a little tour around the city of Yasothon then at about 1 p.m. we decided to have some local food for lunch so yes, again, I had HEAPS of PAPAYA SALAD and STICKY RICE. It was undeniably reaching for as it was SO tasty and addictive.
After lunch, mom’s friend and us had to go separate ways. She had some work to finish but she will meet us again for dinner, so she told us where we should visit and then left. The place she recommended was Indo-Chinese market in Mukdahan province which was about two hours drive from Yasothon. We had absolutely no idea what the market was like. I was quite excited and expected to do a little shopping. We arrived at the market at 4 p.m. and man the market was disappointing. It was a market full of shops selling fake goods and products which weren’t what I expected to see. And I didn’t feel like shopping for clothes either. But, we all decided to just walk around anyway and enjoy the moment, enjoy the people around, enjoy the sound, enjoy the surroundings and everything.
The market was disappointing but the river across from it was a life’s pleasure. It was a huge shining blue river painted with a sweet peachy color by the evening sun. It made my day. It had me as I laid my eyes on. It was glorious. It was beautiful. Oh was I so happy.
We took loads of pics then headed back to Yasothon to have a dinner with mom’s friend. Her husband and son also joined us. They were amazing warmhearted people. I felt so happy just being around them.
We had a spicy soup with HEAPS OF VEGGIES and some of desserts. I had sweet taro in coconut milk. It was LIFE. That’s all I can say.
Mom, dad and mom’s friend talked in a language we didn’t really understand. We just weren’t meant to be in the conversation. I shall say. They talked in an adult language.. adult conversations. But, then we kids were brought in to join and laughters kicked in instantly. We were just so tired from being on the road for hours that every little jokes mom, dad or mom’s friend made could easily trigger our laughs. We spent HOURS just talking. We talked about everything. About mom’s friend’s son, us, the trip, about everything.
Then mom’s friend and her fam dropped us off at the hotel. We said goodbye and then were off to bed. We were all exhausted but again, we were exhausted just exactly as how we wanted to be. It was a perfectly wonderful way to be exhausted. It was exactly how we needed to feel to end the last day of the trip.
Isaan was amazing. Isaan was eating heaps of papaya salad and sticky rice. Isaan was meeting amazingly wonderfully kindhearted people. Isaan was speaking Laos. Isaan was getting mesmerized by the beauty of the nature. Isaan was praying. Isaan was beautiful.