There is always a lot one can learn from another country and its people, as a tourist one usually just sees the sights and buys the souvenirs, that is what I have done all my life. A fortnight ‘s holiday, and visit the places suggested by the tourist guides. This time though I have the luxury of time and my curiosity ,and am making most of it!
This county is not as rich as the west is, I was curious to know as to how did the people spent their leisure, television in hot and sunny weather perhaps is not the medium of choice. And spending vast amounts on wining and dining is not the norm.
Streets are awaited with little carts and vendors selling all kinds of quick snacks,and drinks. And the weather makes it ideal for people to just stroll along or sit on the pavement cafes.
Nature too lends a helping hand!
the springs have a temperature of above 105C ,above boiling point where you can boil an egg in the water,and as you go in you are sold a little basket with Quails eggs! You hold the basket in the water and for the prescribed time to get soft,hard or medium boiled eggs!
There were hundreds of people,families and the elderly,picnicking and just sitting with their feet dangled in the water where it is cool enough ,like bath water to soak your feet in
A truly great spot to be.
I also visited the famous Umbrella factory, umbrellas are very big here,made in all colours,shapes and sizes.And all is done by hand mostly coloured paper is used and a lot of decoration is done by hand.
They are then left in the sun to dry, the smell of glue is head spinning, our health and safety will probably faint at the entrance! And none of the workers wore any masks, they were just engrossed making beautiful details on the paper.
They also have the worlds largest umbrella, more than 7 feet long and equally wide, it was made as a present to the Late princess of Wales, when she visited the country,though it is still here,obviously they couldn’t think where and how they might use it!
It remains here wrapped in a protective plastic! Alas the princess will not be requiring it now,where she is!
Then there was the Queen’s summer residence or her palace and the gardens. The pride of place was the rose garden, but I found the roses slightly disappointing, we get bigger and more beautiful blooms, may be they prefer our climate better!
There again was the a great place for families to be and have a cheap and wonderful day in beautiful surroundings.
I went yesterday to the foundation laying of a temple, with the owner of this hotel. Temples here are constructed by the money the devotees provide and there is no shortage of either. Everyone pays for a pillar and that persons name is read out and blessed by the various Monks who chanted for an hour or so.
We were also sold , two metallic cards,one silver and the other gold, on which we scratch our names and day and the month of birth,and put it in the one of the foundation holes! The whole building site was full of huge craters and holes, and hundreds of us were walking on the narrow footpath,surrounded by huge drops either side! The whole area was full of hazards, but no one seemed bothered, frail old ladies, children and women in their finery,tottering on high heels in the rubble, made their way to place their cards. I have had my card marked too! It was an experience.
There was also a temple and outdoor funeral place. Where the bodies are cremated in open air, and as wood is now scarce and expensive, they use old car tyres ! I believe they are cheap, produce a lot of heat and are plentiful! You have to admire the eco sense and the frugality of people.
Speak to you later.