3.1 LPB – Kuang Si Waterfall

How comfortable, she says 
Indeed, I agreed 
One should walk along this place with their bare feet 
I nodded, it was like connecting with Mother Earth with your soles 

Met a girl from Beijing – talked about China – one child policy – doesn’t seem to make a difference to her, Beijing? Because people who want a second child would probably be able to afford the fine in the first place. Also if both parents are ‘only child’ they are allowed to have 2 children( which makes quite a significant proportion of people in Beijing. 

Forced abortions- yes 😦 depends on province though. Smaller provinces may be stricter…? 
Unless you go overseas, give birth and come back. If you’re able to have the child it’s easier. 

They do learn English in school, but it’s not compulsory to pass to graduate, as long as you pass other core mods (something like electives it seems? I.e. It’s possible to graduate despite failing?) 

No xi zi when they learn Chinese 

Balloting for purchase of new cars – after getting license you submit your name for balloting. She balloted for 2 years but haven’t gotten it. Every 2 months they announce people who gets the car. Whole family can ballot; if your sis gets you can buy the car using her name but it’s still her responsibility. Eg buy car insurance, car accidents etc it’s still under her name. If whole family gets, you get the permission to keep this ‘ability to buy’ for 6 months after which its voided. Strangers no ways close friends also hard to say cause whatever that happens is my responsibility cause under my name. 
Also, car plate number reveals which days you can drive. Eg if car plate ends with 3, maybe you can only drive on tues wed. 
Except sat Sunday no limits, but daily have cause working days a lot of cars. 

Huge cave i gaped in awe but was nervous for some reason 
It was my first time wandering into a cave with no guides, no other tourists; it felt like really just stumbling into nature 
It was rather intimidating as we walked deeper and deeper into the cave, wondering when it’s going to end but when the torch is shone it just keeps going 

Her husband sleeps here, she says. She goes to Luang Prabang to sleep because of her child. Does she climb up all the way here everyday to sell drinks? I ask. No, there’s the motorbike! She says. It takes about one hour to Luang Prabang. But her husband sleeps here. Here? I point to the tent. She nods. 

I feel a wave of… Pity, of sorts, thinking about the ways they make a living. And me, happy tourist frolicking around. I mean having to stay here on nights halfway up some mountain, away from your wife and child(ren). Thinking about it again, maybe it is a commendable source of income, this job, so who am I to judge or to feel ‘pity’. I feel like tourism is a pretty important source of economy and employment for VV and LPB, a means by which they earn money. These nature and wildlife, it’s pretty good they have it. At what cost though? 

I think about those tourists this morning lining up to offer food to the monks. On one hand, why not? Everyone wants to engage in an ‘authentic’ experience. But also because of this search for authenticity, seeing tourists and their flashlight bulky cameras and the wave of excitement as the monks ‘arrive’ this morning after anticipation, made the scene… Less authentic. How do the monks themselves feel, with the cameras out everyday? Is it annoyance, is it pride, or is it nonchalance?
How do tourists spoil the landscape?
How do we contribute to them? How do we shape them? 
Ever-shifting, ever-changing 

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