Day 4, 4/16 in Chiang Mai:
Today we got up erly (early) and went to see the mongs. We fed the mongs. Mongs are peple (people) that teach other people to be good. Then I went to the temple. I had a picnic at the gem fatry (factory), I saw 800 yars old pgota (pagoda), it had big stachue (statue) of Buddha. I went to a night market, I bought a set of Ninja. I took a tuk tuk. I went to a silk fatry (factory). Mofs (moths) make silk.
We loved giving food to the monks. I never realized how fascinating the monks are. First of all, it is not a “role” for life. You can be a monk for 2 weeks or 2 months – you just need to follow their simple life, purify your mind and teach buddhism. We got to a novice temple where many young boys go to become monks from all over Thailand. Since they rely on people for food and breakfast is their largest meal (small lunch and no dinner), every early morning people bring food to them and get a blessing in return. So, we all brought food, asked a monk to approach us, put food into their large pots and then kneeled down to receive a blessing in return (in Bali language). The boys were barefoot, with shaved hair and large orange outfits wrapped around them. Of course, Maxie was more interested in the food itself since we skipped the fantastic breakfast in the hotel (his favorite part of the day) – and this was after the initial disappointment of what he thought was going to be feeding of chipmunks.
The largest Thai temple of Soi Dothep was next. We were early and it was breezy and empty, so rare. We got another blessing from the senior monk, played large bells and while we took pictures of all the Buddhas and beautiful flowers – every Thai person took a picture of Mia. She truly is a superstar here as her blue eyes and curly hair attract tons of cameras – and many times people just hug her, carry her or lift her up for a big hug. They do the same to the boys, but they don’t like it – and run away. She loves it ! At the temple, a Chinese bride/groom couple asked to take a picture with all the kids – as part of their wedding !
The Thai people are incredible hospitable and nice. The kids have made huge friends with locals in our hotel in Chiang Mai – Maxie even had a mutual crush on one of the hostesses there. During the Songkrat festival which is Thai New Year, all city is full of water as everyone splashes everyone – with water guns, buckets, hoses, anything…. We were soaking wet all the time! The boys got to join the hotel staff in front of our hotel and splashed the bypassing traffic with them – the locals loved them and all Maxie wanted to do was to go and play with his new friends. So welcoming – they truly made our visit extremely memorable and beyond fantastic!