The next morning we set out in the mini-bus and headed for The Plain of Jars. There were about 12 of us by now and it seemed a nice group, but my mind was elsewhere…… three guesses where!!!!! 🙂 Yep, like a love sick puppy which has just been deserted by its owner…….. I was feeling sorrier for myself than Eeyor after just losing a pin the tail on a donkey competion with Winnie the Pooh!!!!!!! Fucking soppy bollocks that’s what I was!!!! 🙂 But it was strange……. as the bus continued on its journey, my thoughts were becoming clearer and more concise, and the confusion appeared to be slowly dispelling. It felt like the mist of uncertainty was beginning to clear itself around me.
We arrived at the Site 1 of the Plain of Jars which is the biggest, in terms of area and the size of some of the “exhibits”. The driver gave us a safety briefing before we got out (basically the whole area was full of unexploded bombs and mines, and only the areas between the red/white markers had be demined and were safe. In fact, there were many more sites containing the Jars, but only 3 had been decontaminated). So we got off and bought our entry passes/tickets and walked towards site one. It’s quite picturesque there, with rolling hills and random trees, sometimes in clusters, being dotted about over the hills of green grass. Its almost reminiscent of the Somerset levels and Tors around Glastonbury, except without the patchwork of hedgerows and lanes.
It looked beautiful, but as you looked towards the mountains in the distant, you saw where the lines of thick jungle randomly encroached on the grassland terrain, almost like a waves waiting to devour it, and immediately you realise that the grassland was not the areas natural state…….. bombs had a lot to do with its new look and the land was still in recovery. Laos has the unenviable position of being the worlds most bombed country and standing there taking in the landscape, I could see the evidence and why.
At the entrance of Site 1 there’s an information board about the Jars. Unfortunately, much had been lost and some Jars were blown up or blown out of their original position by all the bombing campaigns. But some human remains had been discovered in or under some of the Jars and it turned out a French female Archeologist had been studying them for over 20 years………yep, that’s over 2 decades Trig 😉 ………. and in that time she’d come to some startling conclusions!!!!!
I tell you what…….. they almost blew ME away when I read them!!!!! She concluded that………. the Plain of Jars were possibly for Religious Purpose and of Ceremonial use!!!!
Fan-fucking-tastic!!!!! Well I’m glad that’s that mystery solved then!!!! 🙂 Get on your plane and fuck off back to France love!!!!!! 😉 I could’ve come to that conclusion in 5 minutes!!!!! Gor Blimey….. so lets get this straight…..she’s done her education in France, gone to all the effort of getting her degree, flown over to Laos, eaten fried rice and vegetables for over 20 years, which is over 2 decades – well I wouldn’t go that far Dave 😉 – and that’s the best she could come up with!!!! What a messer!!!! You can just see the scene now….. of her giving a lecture to a bunch of English Kids………
“So, moi enfants…….. whvat do you tink zthe purpOse of zthe Plain of Jars was?”
“It aint got anything to do with religion has it Miss?”
“Ahhhh…..sacreau bluer!!! I ad no ideya you were alreaDy so learned in zthe loaws of ArkeOlogee”
“Nah miss………. I was just having a laugh, innit”
“Tres bien, moi petit garcon……. but whvat do you tink it was used foar?”
“Err……. didnt have anything to do with ceremonies did it Miss?”
“Je ne comprise pas!!!!! Ow you kno so much? You Engelish bastard!!!! Your mother was a hamster…. and you father smelt of….. elderberries!!!!!” 🙂
Bloody hell, I bet the bird must feel really disappointed with herself!!!! Ok….. well what kind of religion and what kind of ceremony?!!!!! You dont know do you!!!! Why is it whenever archeologists cant explain something, instead of saying they dont know, they always pull that fucking line out of the bag!!!! Leave it in the bag and try being honest……… you bunch of fucking muppets!!!! (the ones that pull that line out of the bag that is!!!!) 😉
And as I walked around, feeling the place, I felt there must have been more significance in the placing of the Jars. I wondered if, like the temples of Angkor representing the star constellation of Draco on the earths surface, maybe the jars were originally set out to reflect the heavens and each persons soul, who may have had their remains put in a particular jar, may have been thought to go to that star after death……… it’ll be their star, almost like today where you can buy the rights to name a star on the internet!!!
It was just a thought, with a bit more imagination and sensation, but it would be difficult to prove now after the septic tanks have done such a remarkable job at re-landscaping the area at a knock down price of $2 million dollars a day!!!!! But maybe, somewhere out there, there were 3 big Jars representing the belt of Orion, like the Pyramids of Giza. Its unlightly you’ll ever know now though……… and I dont fancy spending 20 years on the subject….. 20 minutes was good enough for me!!!!! 🙂 Still, maybe the other theory that the decorated Jars were being made to celebrate the ascension to the throne of one of the Kymer Kings was right…… just like the plates we get of the Queen, with a picture of her “smiling”mug on them!!!! It would be a bit of an effort to get these Jars on your sideboard though!!!! 🙂
Some of them were huge, weighing over a ton, taller than your average man and wider then the Rolly-Pollys…… but not quite as old!!!;-) And you could see on some that at one point they were very well carved and decorated, only now that decoration had all but been eroded away, leaving them looking pretty “plain”. There was one with a broken lid, and as I looked inside I saw a Pepsi can…. that was nice….. obviously a sponsorship deal going on!!!! I tried to grab it to throw it away, but couldn’t reach so had to leave the advertisement in all its spiritual glory….. looked like Pepsi had recruited another star!! ;-). I reckoned that all the Jars must have had lids before and found one half buried in the soil. No doubt the other ones had been half-inched over the years, for building “purposes” and the odd wheel “use”!!!:-)
It was feeling like a spiritual place to me and after a butchers hook around, we re-assembled in the bus and headed off for the second site…… or Site 2 as its officially known!!!…. and when we got out we discovered that we had to pay again for another ticket. Well, the Israelis kicked off at this point (they really weren’t ones for parting with money!!!) informing the guards that, quite rightly, the ticket says entry to The Plain of Jars and doesn’t say any individual site, meaning it gave right of access to all of them so we shouldn’t have to buy another one. There was definitely something moody going on, but I just sat back and let the Israelis deal with it… seeing as they were so apt at getting the best deal!!!! 🙂
But in the end the Israelis lost the battle…… the guard had a gun…… and on this occasion, Israel didnt……….because this time they hadn’t been given funding from the Yanks!!!! 😉 So we all payed up…..except for all the girls. All 6 of them stayed on the bus as they couldn’t be bothered to get out and see any more jars!!….. Apparently they were all “Jarred Out”!!!!!!
What the Fuck?!!!!!! Now the thing is, if you come to see the Plain of Jars…. then you’ve pretty much made a special effort to be there……. its not like they’re just round the corner and you’ve come to have a quick peek!!!! It’s a fucking mission to get there!!! And quite frankly, after traveling all that way…. I wanted see as many Jars as possible!!!!! The more the merrier!!!! Bring on the Jars I say!!!!….even if they’re plain!!!!! 🙂
And that’s another thing….. what is there to be disappointed about? Its not like the Plain of Jars is selling itself as something its not………. they’re a bunch of jars…. and they’re plain!!!!! What the fuck did you expect?!!!! Its not like its says on the map “Plain of Jars with Fun Fair and Side-show attractions” and when you get there you’re disappointed the fun fairs not there, so you ask a copper “Where the fucks the Rollercoaster……and the side shows?!!!” and he says “Ahh, you just missed them, we had move them on…….they were making a terrible mess”.
Jarred fucking out, I ask ya!!!! I tell you what…. The Plain of Jars is like Ronseal Varnish…. it does exactly what it says on the tin!!!!!!! Muppets…. the lot of em!!!! But it was their choice I guess….. a victory for freewill….with a lack of appreciation coming in a close second!!!!!! 🙂 So us guys all went on, climbing the hill to site 2, which was surrounded with trees and felt a lot more special and personal then site 1. It was nice. And then we returned to the bus to face the inevitable questions from the girls….”Was it nice?…Was it worth seeing?”… “Yes and yes”…. and then we headed for site 3.
I remembered Rory had said that this one was the best of the lot, so I waited in anticipation to see if he was right, and just as we got there the rest of the guys (apart from Owen) announced that they were “Jarred out” too and couldn’t be arsed to walk to it, preferring to sit in this shelter/restaurant and wait. Oh my God…. what was happening?…. was this “Jarred Out” syndrome contagious?!!! But it didn’t bother me, in fact I was glad……. it meant I’d have the place pretty much to myself…. lovely jubilee!!!! So me and Owen headed for Site 3.
Now to get to Site 3, you have to walk through rice paddy fields, and not only do you wonder if you’re going the right way, but you also wonder if you’re gonna get blown up at any point!!!! But I happened to see a Jar in the distance on the slope of a hill, so was satisfied I was on the right path!!!! And as we got up there, the place felt magical to me…. it felt beautiful. This was the smallest site which had been decontaminated, but it was by far the most intimate and personal….. it was a hill (much like the Tors in Somerset) covered in woodland (not dense vegetation), surrounded by lowlands, which again resembled the Somerset Levels. It felt like a special place in every aspect to me and the Jars were dotted about the hill top, not obviously like at the other sites…. but obscure as if they were hiding from you, yet waiting to be discovered. I felt so at ease there…. it was so peaceful, picturesque and beautiful.
I walked about alone, exploring and feeling the energy, and I saw, after 10 minutes, that Owen had already started making his way back to the bus. I was on my own!!!!……… and just like the time I was at Machu Pichu……….. I had the place completely to myself!!!! And it felt so special……. I felt a similar vibe there to what I felt at Machu Pichu years before in terms of the magic. My mind felt so clear…. in fact, I think my mind was the clearest its ever been before or since in my life….. I was fully conscious, and without me even making an effort……. my internal dialogue had completely shut down. I was just being!!!!
I stayed there for around 45 minutes and in that time the only periodic thoughts I’d had were related to Nicole and I had some deep and powerful intuitions about things. It all seemed so clear to me up there….. for the first time since I met her I felt completely myself again and nothing really seemed to matter…. it all seemed so irrelevant…. it didn’t matter anymore…..things were gonna be alright and whatever happened, it would be the right way……. it was if I’d disconnected from my emotions and all that remained was truth……… which came to me clearly. I felt like myself again. So after taking in and appreciating the place for one last time, I headed back to the bus, feeling like a new man without the burden of weight across his shoulders. It felt good.
I arrived back, feeling quite upbeat and not giving a fuck that people were waiting…. they had the chance to go up there if they wanted to, and that was the only time I reckon I’ll ever be up there so I felt I had every right to make the most of it. On the way back I started formulating a letter I was gonna email Nicole in my head. All the words seemed to just flow and felt so right. But when I got back and started writing it down, I was in tears as I put pen to paper. My emotions had taken control again and I realised what my letter was saying. I was basically finishing it and it was clear that that was not what I wanted emotionally!!!!…. I know, I know………. I was back to square one… what a twat!!!! But I tell you what…. it’s fucking hard when you’ve got no one to talk to about affairs of the heart…….. it drives you insane because you dont think rationally and there’s no one there to let you know what rational is at that point!!!!! It was a bloody experience I can tell ya, and my bollocks were getting soppier by the minute!!!!!!!! 🙂
But it felt right to send it, so I went with it and found an internet place to mail from, but just before I could finish typing it out, the internet cafe was closing so I couldn’t send it. Oh well, so I just saved it and left. I felt so much better though having written everything down though….. and as I walked away the feeling of a need to send it left me altogether!!!! So I went out and found Owen in a restaurant (Ramadans!!!!) and we went on to have a pukka evening.
Things felt all gravy again….. and in the morning I set out for the place where I was to have the best times of all…… a “most excellent” place by the name of…… Vang Vein 🙂
Love and Light,