Trigger warning: This post contains graphic images of body piercing and mutilation. Proceed with caution.
Did I get your attention? I thought I should come back to the blogging world with a bang.
I’ve been away for a long time, and much has happened since my last post. Two major events mark the return of Angkor Away:
1. We moved to Phuket, Thailand.
2. I got an iPhone.
The former was an incredibly busy time of packing up our home, visiting the embassy to make our visas, and transitioning our jobs. The latter just means that I now can blog anywhere, anytime. It’s infinitely easier to take pictures and post them to WordPress now, as opposed to uploading the images from a camera and typing up a formal post on my laptop. I’ll miss my standard Nokia brick phone with its black and white screen and games of Snake, but at least I’ve joined the 21st century.
So my first post back is about the vegetarian festival of Phuket. A couple hundred years ago, a Chinese opera group came to Phuket and fell sick with malaria. They prayed to the Chinese gods, ate a strict vegetarian diet for one week, and miraculously overcame the fatal disease. Today, Phuket still celebrates this moment in history as an invocation to the 9 Chinese gods for protection from evil.
How do they invoke the gods? Gnarly body piercings.
I got up at 6am yesterday and went to my loca shrine to see the morning ritual. Thai people were there in droves. Incense was burning, drums were pounding, it was surreal. I’ll let my pictures explain the rest.