Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hygiene being important to kids...

At a lakeside village with a large pagoda that we stopped at, a group of kids approached us apprehensively at first, then quite aggressively. So, what did they want? Did they ask for the candy, pencils, or money that kids around the developing world have learned to ask foreign tourist for?

No. These kids wanted shampoo. Hands out, they trailed us for a time repeating their request over and over. "Shampoo? Shampoo? Shampoo?"

"Why on earth do you want shampoo," I asked, which was quite useless, as shampoo seemed to be the only English word that they knew.

So I turned the tables and demanded shampoo of them. Hands out, I begged for that most coveted item. They didn't have any.

Inside the local pagoda it was nap time. People were just sprawled out on the ground. It was actually quite common to see people napping in the shade around temples or inside temples themselves. At Shwedegon in Rangoon, Katherine asked Yoda whether the people we were seeing sleeping all over the temple complex were homeless. No, he said, they were just tired. Good enough.

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