23 July 2018

Tell Them About Your Commute

The next time you complain about your commute, reflect on these young women:

If you are my age, you might be lamenting "today's young people" who don't look up from their phones.  But they did talk to me.

Their commute starts like this

and continues with this

and goes up even further

until, finally, they reach the top of the hill and have all of the best views of Luang Prabang.  

Hoiko, Pamela and I cycled across that bridge yesterday.

As nice as the view is, I''ll bet they don't think much about it.  That's what happens when something becomes a part of your work routine:  It wouldn't surprise me to know that waiters and other workers in Windows on the World stopped noticing the view, if they ever cared about it in the first place.

Maybe they laugh at folks like me who trudge up those stairs as part of their "vacation"

 or pay 50000 kip (about $6) to release two young birds into the air from the viewing area.

Or maybe they don't. Either way, I have respect for them because, even though there are two ways you can ascend or descend Pho Si, neither involves an elevator (lift) or escalator (moving stairs).  One route, on Thanon Phousi, includes several viewpoints "manned" by statues along its 355 stairs. The other, which starts on Sisavangvong Road (opposite the Royal Palace Museum) takes 328 steps.  That's the way I came down; I went up the Thanon Phousi.

It makes perfect sense that those statues, and other images of Buddha, are found on the hill:  Phou Si's literal meaning is "sacred mountain".  Some people climb it to watch sunsets.  Yesterday I couldn't get there in time; on the two previous days, the weather didn't cooperate.  To me, the walk up and the view were rewarding.  And I'll never, ever complain about my commute again!

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