Buddhism, travel, Vietnam

nuns and naps

I forgot about one of the highlights of the day in my last post! Completely unexpectedly (we thought that we were having lunch on the boat) we had lunch at a Buddhist monestary which was served by a round Buddhist nun with a shaved head. The meal was a large vegetarian spread with many delicious things that I had never tried before (and still have no idea what they are). In Vietnam, it is customary to serve large dishes in the middle of the table that everyone shares from by putting some food in their bowl and eating it from there. She was very adamant that we eat lots and lots of food, so much so that she would put more food on to our bowls. If we really weren’t eating fast enough for her, she would pick up our chopsticks, grab something she thought looked tasty and ‘spoon feed’ us. At one point she picked up Vivi’s chopsticks (the Danish woman on our tour) and fed her some food, then grabbed more food with Vivi’s chopsticks and fed me and then got more food and fed me again and tried to get more food, but nothing else would fit in my mouth. She moved on to the next Westerner eating much too slow and I looked at Vivi and couldn’t contain myself. I’m not sure how I kept all of the that food in my mouth with all of the laughter I was attempting to hold in. While we were eating, she laid out some bamboo mats on the floor. I wasn’t sure why, but didn’t think twice about it. After lunch, she shooed us all from the table and pointed to the mats. We soon figured out that it was nap time for us and there was no way we could get out of it. Hannah (the English woman) and I were laying next to each other and started giggling and wiggling around just like little kids not wanting to go down for their afternoon nap. Forty five minutes later, we were awoken, groggy but happy to continue our motorbike journey. It was a meal unlike one I have ever experienced (which seems to be a common theme on this trip) and definitely one I will never forget.

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