My friend Laura is perhaps the most randomly happy person I know—she spotted this puppet at the night market in Luang Prabang, Laos and simply had to buy it. At that time I couldn’t imagine how she would use it enough to justify carrying but she insisted so I bought a stuffed monkey to play alongside the puppet. We carried that puppet alongside the green guitar nearly everywhere we went in Southeast Asia and although the kids often didn’t have a clue what we were saying, their slow and cautious smiles were universal.
This is one of the many times I found myself in the middle of a group of children who were fascinated by her puppet showand just friendly energy. And you all know how I love kids, so it was great! The highlight of our puppet shows in Laos were simple and repetitive because we only knew five phrases or so in Laotian, but they loved it anyway. They went something like this, in Laotian:
How are you?!
I am great. No worries.
Then we’d start singing an impromptu song that included the phrases “I’m great” and “no worries” over and over again.
It sounds so ridiculous to write this down in retrospect, but the spontaneity (and likely the fun of having a friend to share the moments) makes this one of my favorite memories from touring Angkor Wat. :)
Quick Travel Tips
Be open to the moment—everywhere you go, if you’re looking around and willing to change your “plans” you could find yourself in the middle of a puppet sing-along too :)