Last update was quite long, so I will send more and shorter updates. Last week was a lazy week. I practiced yoga a lot, especially abdominals (a block in between my legs, navasana – boat pose, another block in my hands and then crunch up, legs still up); my abs are still telling me that is was a real good practice. Time for a repetition 😉. Abs are very important in yoga, though we don’t train them all the time in particular. In almost every asana (pose) you can engage your abs, so you are using them 95% of the lesson. Especially in balancing poses (feet, arms, inversions) you train them. Extra training is always good though 😊. I am also practicing chin stand, scorpion and handstand (I am not really into inversions, but I want to improve my own practice). On Sunday Dec 15, lazy Sunday, I taught the morning class and after breakfast I thought: Sitting and writing at the pool is a good thing to do, a new update 😊. I forgot that was Sunday, party…. So, sitting at the pool typing a new update, music coming from all sides… It’s weekend and Laos people like to celebrate it with really loud music.
Last weekend (13 & 14 December) it was Vang Vieng Music Festival; best to compare it with Concert at Sea, Zand or Pinkpop. Local and international artists (international = Thai and Singapore 😉) singing, performing, DJ-ing and hiphopping at 3 stages and 15,000 festive party poopers. 95% Laos/Asian, 5% Westerns. Loads of beer (festival is sponsored by BeerLao and Sommersby), food and most likely some marihuana, mushrooms, whiskey and wodka 😊. Sulo and I went before all had started to take some pictures (posted on social media and in the gallery); we could enter the terrain without any problems, no one asked us what we were doing. That’s a real difference compare to Holland. Everything is blocked, hard to sneak in, loads of security. For us it was nice, we took some pictures and went back. Heard someone trying to sing (one of the biggest names); the only thing I thought: stop it, it is awful! Luckily no glass around 😉. Vang Vieng is in the weekends busier, but this weekend… we had more traffic jams than on a rainy day in Holland (ok…. Exaggerating is a job an sich 😉). Even walking on the street wasn’t easy, cars parked on the pavement, motorbikes in between the open spaces, 2-way traffic on the road, with all the cars parked… it was a hard job, and you needed a lot of patience as a driver. Or.. maybe you need a charged phone, because, yeah, standing still means… What’s app, Line, Imo, Insta, Facebook, Twitter, SnappChat, watching another episode on NetFlix or YouTube.. why not? We don’t drive, do we? So, why should we bother about safety, don’t drive means you can use your phone! Police? I have seen 1 police car in 7 weeks. And, eh, money can buy everything, can’t it 😉? Or, wait! The police are also on their phone… because they need to post on their social media how others are using their phones during driving… 😉. Welcome to Laos!
The hotel was almost fully booked thanks to the festival. The staff wasn’t so happy with that, now they needed to work a little harder, and that’s against their nature (isn’t that lovely, don’t rush, take it easy? A good thing to do in Holland, I can show you how it works 😉).
Classes this week were great, I had an amazing outdoor class! 10 people, all levels. 1 of them was an Indian man, Suresh, we went out for dinner at the only Indian restaurant in Vang Vieng 😊. Finally, something else than rice, noodles 😊 😊. Good conversations! He was practicing yoga for a long time, but due to lower back and knee problems he had to back off. He enjoyed the practice, even though he couldn’t do much. And a coincidence (I don’t believe in that, everything happens for a reason) Sulo (another yoga teacher) and Kimberly (a returning student) came in 😊.
You know what is so funny about teaching here, especially Koreans? Every time when I go out of the pose to check if everybody doing ok, they copy and paste. Now I finally understand why everything what’s made in China or Korea is so cheap, just copy and paste. We present them how it can be done, they duplicate it, cheaper because they don’t have to do all the research et voilà, off you go to Action (well… in a nutshell, definitely there is more going on). Anyway, for teaching it is not really helpful, because I need to put them back in the pose 😊.
On my day off (Tuesday December 10) I went to the Kaeng Nyui (or Kaeng Yui) and Kaeng Lon waterfall. I walked the whole way, in total 15 kms, the road was rocky, dusty, quiet and the scenery was soooo beautiful. I took many pictures, it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there (normally 7 kms is a bit more than 1 hour). But this route… amazing! A nice small village, kids playing at the school yard, rice fields, bunches of cows, mountains. And all so quiet. The waterfall was beautiful; not big or breath taking or so, but the whole picture made it perfect. I sat there for at least 30 minutes, I was the only one. Then some Koreans came in, rushed to the waterfall, took some pictures and a selfie with me (the first selfie with unknown people, after 7 weeks, a new record! Normally it takes 5 minutes 😉). The lady put herself next to me, phone in her hand, made some gestures and spoke something in Korean English of what I understood as: selfie? I nodded and whoppa, there we go 😊. After they left, it was quiet again, just a few more visitors. I didn’t swim in the water (that was really tooooo cold) but yeah, I needed to feel the cold water, so I put my feet in it. That was bearable, for 2 minutes. Then I just sat there, meditating, enjoying the view, the nature, dragon flies, water spiders, ants, little birds, plants, trees… After almost 2 hours I walked back, spoke with a Swiss guy (he pulled over with his motorbike to check how far it was), had a little chat and continued my way back.
I am really happy that it isn’t freezing anymore. We don’t need blankets anymore during savasana, or towels at the outdoor class. Yeah! So happy about that! I was really looking for gloves last week, so cold, it turned out to be 6 degrees!! Christmas will be in bikini whehehehe. Way better than in Europe, at least, for me 😊.
We were so lucky last week; there was an American pastry chef, he made some vegan pastries, mango-cheesecake and they saved something for us. And this morning, when I said goodbye, they had another vegan pastry (something with caramalised peanuts, yummy!!). I got spoiled here hihi. Like I mentioned in my last blog: I am not complaining. For me, life may be like this forever 😊😊. Can I convince anyone to join me: work less, enjoy more 😊!
Short preview for the upcoming 2,5 weeks. Until Dec 29 I will be in Vang Vieng, teaching. December 30, 31 and January 1 I am in Luang Prabang (still Laos). On Jan 1, 6am (local time) I am at the airport, checking in to Vientiane, and if everything is according plan, transit to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The transit time is short and I need to check in again, immigration and security… but I will make it 😊. I have 2 hours (European, not Laos, Laos hours = 3 😉). I will start teaching at Polwaththa Ecolodges in Digana, close to the jungle, for 2 months (or maybe longer, depends on the tourists and also my visa). After Sri Lanka… I don’t know yet, maybe first visit India and head north to Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, to continue my trip in Asia (hopefully teaching yoga or else Workaway (which means free accommodation and food in exchange for some work)). I am trying to visit countries I haven’t visited yet, and there a lot of countries I haven’t visited yet 😊. But I will just go with the flow, because life it too short to plan everything ahead.
Well, this is it for this week! You can also keep me updated about your life. Don’t say it’s the same everyday, because it is not. Every day is a new day, every day is special, it’s a present, right here, right now, so let’s seize it today 😊.
P.S: New pictures will follow soon 🙂