I ran across these dolls in at the Night Bazaar in Luang Prabang, Laos.
I started laughing when I saw them. My first thought was; “Damn! Those wouldn’t go over well back in the States at all!” lol They bring to mind the Amos and Andy black face characters of the early 1900s. Racially sensitive folks would immediately say; “Oh my! Those dolls are RACIST!” Then I thought to myself. Damn, I gotta have those! lol They’re cute. I didn’t purchase them on my first trip through Luang Prabango, though. I just had to grab them on my second trip this past April. Could no longer resist. Unny thought they were cute. That clinched it for me.
They’re cute dolls and representations of the Hill Tribe folk BY the Hill Tribe Folk and sold BY the Hill Tribe Folk. Take that for what it’s worth. They’ve nothing to do with Africa or African Americans. Nothing racist about them Momma, so no worries. haha
Our trip through Laos was awesome. We did the total backpacker thing. Took buses to different cities. We stayed in the cheapie hotels. We broght with us nothing except what we could carry on our backs. No extra bags (until we made a purchase or two). We tooled around Luang Prabang for a few days. We saw some amazing temples. I sent around a few pics of these via email and on facebook earlier. I’ll get around eventually to going through them all and placing them in a new post or just edit them into this one. After that, we bussed down to Vang Vieng. There we went kayaking and I added to my Buddha collection. A little cheap one that the lady said was no more than 5 years old. It was unique enough that I liked it. I’ve got enough of the regular, run of the mill Buddha statues in my collection. Looking for something unique now.
When Unny and I went kayaking, I wore my iPod. Big Mistake. I’ve been kayaking before and never went under. This was Unny’s first time, however. So! We went under. The water was calm. So I wasn’t really paying attention. Another mistake. We rolled on our first small rapid. Hit a pretty large rock. The water at this point was about 8 feet deep. Not too deep for someone who can swim. Unny is not a great swimmer, though. When we rolled, my only thought was “GET UNNY!” She was wearing a life jacket. So she floated. Initially, though, she went under and you could see the panic in her eyes at first. She go the hang of it quick enough. A little adventure for her. My iPod got the worst of it. Totally immersed and stopped working. (with the help of nephew Benjamin and some rice, though, it’s back in working order….thanx Ben). The rest of the kayak excursion went smoothly. I tried to race the guide and damn near killed someone. Unny kept getting nervouse when we would stray to far ahead of him. She thought we’d get lost on the river. I fugured he could out kayak me to hell and back and that when he needed to get up on us, he would. I tried to race him near the end. We got going pretty fast and I think I bulled ahead of him pretty good but I couldn’t attain speed while directing the kayak and damn near rammed him and some other river traveler. lol
After that, we just hung out around town. Shopped a bit and made ready for our trip to Vientiene.
At Vientiene, we saw all of the usual spots. Patuxai ~ the Lao Arc de Triomphe, Pha That Luang ~ the huge Golden Monument that’s built over the spot that supposedly contained a breast bone of the Buddha, Wat Si Saket. We even made it down to Xieng Khuan, the Buddha Park. We also got off the beaten track a bit as is my wont. We were heading up to Patuxai. I decided it was time for one of my infamous side tracks. It was hot and I was tired of being on the main streets. As we walked down these alley ways, we passed by locals. You could get a glimpse of how these folks really live. It’s bare essential except for the occasional TV or radio. All electricity that I could see was provided by generators. I don’t know why they weren’t allowed or couldn’t access the city electricity. As we walked along, I passed a little house with a little girl inside. I smiled and she didn’t seem to notice me. I kept moving. I got about ten feet further along and suddenly I heard “FALANG! FALANG! FALANG!” I didn’t catch what she was saying at first. She repeated; “FALANG FALANG FALANG!” At this point, I knew that she had to be talking to me. The only other non-Lao person there was Unny and she wouldn’t be calling Unny “falang.” So I turned around and smiled and waved to her. I wish that I had something to give to her. I’ll have to make a point to carry around candies next time we’re out. She was cute and it made me smile.
Of course, we did a bit of shopping. Unny bought some local handicrafts (purses) and I bought a Buddha and a Water Buffalo horn with Buddha carved on it.
After three days in Vientiene, we headed for home. It was a nice little adventure that we both enjoyed.