A new appreciation
Tonight, I return to my room after celebrating the opening of a new hotel in Luang Prabang. This is one which is not a competitor, as the rates begin at $600+. The Amantaka was the former hospital in Luang Prabang and has now been restored and converted to a lovely, albeit austerely designed hotel. In a former hospital, I think I would avoid minimalism and go out of my way to make it as cozy and comfortable as possible. But I digress…
Marie-Helene and I were sitting in wicker chairs over-looking the black-bottom swimming pool which was aglow with floating candles. The dance performance began at the opposite end of the pool. I asked her how she ever landed in Laos and how she has enjoyed living here the last 10 years. As we talked, one of the daily flights flew over our heads. All of the planes which land in LPQ are propeller planes. The locals know exactly where the plane is coming from and which type of plane it is, even which airline. I find it all so very Casablanca.
We talked about out love for Asia and I told her that in the early 1990’s, I watched for the first time the 1956 movie, The King and I. In that movie, there is a scene where the king has invited a delegation to dinner and his servants perform for him. Do you remember the scene? They are all in costume and the story focuses on Liza, who wants to escape the kingdom.
The beauty of that scene was always lost on me until I moved to Asia, until I visited Thailand and saw for myself these types of dances. Now I find the simplicity of the performance so beautiful. You amy remember that sheets of silk were used to form a river. The dancers acted out emotions and set designs. Yet they absolutely got their point across.
Sitting there at this elegant party, watching this dance and soaking it all in, I still realize how lucky I am to have a chance to live life in this part of the world. It is so enchanting, so different and I am forever grateful that I will always have these beautiful memories for the rest of my life.