Amused and Confused in Southeast Asia

It’s funny how it feels like months, yet we’ve only been in Southeast Asia for just 18 days (and only in two countries at that).  But the cultural differences and unusual observations of daily life are hard to escape.  Whether we’re visiting a Buddhist temple or just walking down the street, we’ve seen our share of interesting sights that have left us amused and in wonder.  Here are a few of my favorites so far…

“Space for Monks” – Monks enjoy much honor in Thailand, but they are not exempt from mundane labor from time to time, such as the monk below power washing outside the temple after a busy day of receiving offerings.  But one perk you do get should you ever decide to become a monk is priority seating on the water taxi!

The powerwashing monk

"Space for Monks" on the water taxi - Bangkok

Monks enjoying their perks

There’s religion everywhere and for just about anything…

The Cat Food Temple

It must have been a very special tree

Very typical offering at entrance to restaurant in Ubud

Even the family auto gets its daily blessing

When you gotta pray, you gotta pray

It’s how they roll on Bali…

No sure they make a rear view mirror for this model

Not one, but two kids with mom on the motorbike

One way to take out what appears to be the garbage

...and how we roll during the rainy season

Times I wish I understood the local language…

Not sure whose phone line they are fixing, but it might take a while

Whatever the problem is, keep in mind that she's the one wielding the machete

How do you say: "You ate the last banana." in monkey

Other interesting cultural differences…

From local roadside stalls selling rebottled petrol for motorbikes to a version of a floating market that I hadn’t read about in the tour guide, there is no shortage of colorful perspectives we’ve been amused by on our journey.   We’re looking forward to many more.

They may look like Absolut vodka bottles, but this is better consumed by your 2-wheeler

I'm not sure this constitutes Balinese fashion, but Josephine likes her look

Advertisement in Bangkok for floating bank...a new twist to letting your currency float!

This Thai toddler confirms for me that yoga is in the genes

Good to the last drop(ping) –  On Bali we stopped at an organic cocoa and coffee bean plantation where you can sample the coffees and buy beans at their store.  A rare coffee known as Copi Luwak is made by collecting the droppings of an animal known as a Luwak.  Apparently, the coffee beans are still whole and these are cleaned and roasted to create a very rare and  unusual tasting coffee (Oh, really).  Needless to say, the tiny sample alone was several US dollars and they say a pound costs several hundred dollars, so we declined.  My only question – who had the questionable genius to come up with coffee from animal droppings?

The infamous Luwak.  Gives a whole new meaning to an “organic process”

The Coffee Luwak beans were conspicuously absent from this display

I’d love to hear any of your amusing travel/cultural experiences that we might expect on our SE Asia travels…


4 responses to “Amused and Confused in Southeast Asia

  1. good on you for getting your kids out and about. it’s the thigs they’ll remember forever.
    Cheers Sean and Diane

    • 4KidsWillTravel

      Thanks…there are times we wonder if this is the responsible thing to do, but it’s too late to turn back. 2 years on a ship sounds like an adventure as well…will share with my doctor sister who has done time in Africa as well. Lancelot

  2. Loving the pictures. Alot of funny ones. loving the one that says ‘Donate for Cat Food’ XD

    • 4KidsWillTravel

      Glad you enjoyed…with all the offerings, I did wonder how a cat would ever go hungry in Bangkok, but I’m happy for the temple because it made us laugh every time we walked passed. Lancelot

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