Tuesday, September 1, 2009

temple magic

We are getting more paintings together,
Photography was more difficult, as the fils for my Rolleiflex were quite expensive and money was getting a bit short.
It got also extremely hot, so we spend a fair bit of time in Bangkok at the air conditioned movie. There were not many air conditioned places around. The most popular cinemas showed spagheti western. Sometimes w saw the twice... just to escape the heat

Thai bliss

In the temples, where we painted, there were always friendly monks to talk to, abit difficult at times, as our English was very poor, and so was the monk's.
But the small towns  had nice teak guest houses and the markets had so much wonder ful fruit and food, we never had tasted before.

In the North

Chiang Mai, Lampang and Lampoon
We got a lift on the back of a truck, lying on huge canvas bags, filled with some hay or stroh we drove through the hot and dusty Thai country side. Lots of small villages and towns, and the sun blazing, we got to Chian Mai with quite a sun burn

painting and traveling in Thailand

The temples were our favorite places, where we also got our first taste of the Buddhist religion/philosophy

the floating market

Bangkok was a mad city, but easy to navigate, all the buses an a certain route were the same colour, so we worked out which route looked at the map at the bus stop and waited for the purple bus. Werner developed hepetatis and we had to go to a doctor, where he went on a drip and got the medicine he needed. He needed a few weeks rest, whilst I roamed through the mazes of China town, also got some artwork to do for the "Bangkok Post" newspaper, where some really helpful young English editors were working. They also gave us an idea, to approach some galleries to show our drawings gouaches and water colours. In a modern looking gallery, run by a very elegant young Thai lady, we got invited to show our work a month later. This gave us time, to go to northern Thailand and paint some more.
She also suggested to contact the German Cultural Institute, the "Goethe institute" for help.
Wonderful people, really happy to help us organize it and look after the opening and the invitation..

we are now in Thailand

After leaving Nepal, we went by train to Calcutta, where we stayed for almost 3 weeks.
The reason for staying there so long, was to get a student card and than get a 40 $ Plain ticket to Bangkok.
Calcutta was an amazing place, full of puzzling people, temples and traffic chaos. But we liked it, and it was quite a shock, to arrive in a totally different culture, somewhat more Western than India, but equally magic and exciting

Monday, June 22, 2009

the lama we will never forget

Here he is in the morning sun performing a puja with his dorje and bell
High on a ridge was this very colourful market.
We passed this colourful lama a few times,
and each time he stuck out his tongue and smiled.
We learned to show your tongue means "hi"
He invited us to his place and walked for quite a while
in the fading light up a steep hill to his
wooden house, build a bit like a Swiss Chalet.
He made some delicious simple food,
rice and curried vegetable.
He had a beautiful lady living with him and a young boy,
who helped him
He chanted us to sleep, and tucked us in.
We felt warm, relaxed and safe.
In the morning we tried a few of his magnificent
robes on and took photos.
We thought often about this evening,
and the kindness of this stranger,
with no language in common

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Om Mani Padme Hum, jewel in the lotus

What better place to rest, but in the sun, leaning on a massive mani stone.
Along the path, there were many mani walls, piles of pebbles 
with the mantra om mani padme hum engraved.
 The walls were sometimes quite long and 
had a different level, so the porters carrying heavy loads, 
could lean back and rest their baskets against the stones.
 Perfect for our rucksacks as well

Cold and high

The air was thin and every step made our heart beat very strong
and we were breathing very deep to get enough oxygen to get us moving
after a week we got used to the altitude and were running .
It was fantastic to be up there with the gods

Namche Bazaar, Tiang Poche and around Kumbu

We walked for about 2 weeks to get to Namche Bazaar 
We stayed At Namche Bazaar for a few days and than to Tiang Poche Monestary
and than just walked around the foot hills of Mt Everesest
On the way we met Sir Edmund Hillary with his family and one lone Swiss tracker.
That was the foreigners on the way.
Werner loved the walking, and he knew the name of the high peaks
The Base camp area was a bit disapointing a rubbish tip of cans and bottles
The ceiling of a small temple, shaped like a gate, where we had to pass through