Destinations that begin with B. Bounce in my head. Bolivia. Bangkok. Bangladesh. Bombay. I’ve swatted Borobudur, the Buddhist temple in Java, to the back. Repeatedly. Too similar to Angkor Wat my mind says. But it floats. To the top. Again and again.
I wasn’t there. At sunrise or sunset. I was there. In the middle of a bright day. With two women. Who had every strand of hair covered. I had not heard of it before. But they wanted to show me the sites. And it is magnificent.
One of my favorite photos of Che Guevara. Is at Borobudur. He stands next to a bell shaped stupa. There are seventy. And inside each is a Buddha. Reach in. And touch the Buddha’s hand. For good luck. Good luck. Did Che touch the Buddha’s hand? For good luck? Did his luck not hold out? Since he was killed in less than five years. In Bolivia.
I bought a few small Buddhas carved from black volcanic rock and took my luck back to my hotel room in Yogyakarta. (Which I learned. Is pronounced Joe-ja-karta. Joe-ja for short.) And laid on the bed. And looked at the arrow on the ceiling. It took me a long time. To figure out. That the arrows on the hotel ceilings. Point in the direction in which to pray. In this Muslim country.
I wandered to the pool. It was full of men and boys. The women sat fully covered on the side. It made me sad to think these women had probably never immersed themselves in water. Not even on vacation. And I certainly couldn’t go out. In a suit. And jump in with the men.