The content of this post is cultural, I swear!
Josh and I had two more days in Bhutan without Kevin. After stomaching some car sickness on the twisty tiny mountain roads, we arrived in a town devoted to the Divine Madman. While the wikipedia page is delightful, I’ll sum him up as best I can: The Divine Madman was a monk that eschewed the traditional strict and staid lifestyle of religious men at the time, choosing instead to find enlightenment by drinking, carousing with countless women, and singing around the town half-naked. He subdued some very evil demons, and performed some miracles, which made people believe he was actually divine and not just a crazy hedonist. As the story goes, he subdued the evil spirits with his, well, phallus.
Now, people in Bhutan use wooden phalluses to ward off evil spirits. When we visited the Divine Madman’s monastery, the monk there tapped us both on the head with a small wooden phallus as a blessing. A visit to the monastery is supposed to help couples who are having trouble conceiving finally get pregnant. There were also pictures of phalluses everywhere around the town, I think to do the same thing (ward off bad spirits/bless people/bring fertility to the household on which it is painted).
Josh didn’t know that I put him in the picture, too. He was trying to get me to take a picture of the 3D art…
Phalluses for sale
Josh and I visited other monasteries, did a few more hikes, and ultimately ended up back in Paro where we originally started. I’m posting images rapid fire because as I’m writing this, we’ve already had two full days in Bangkok and I have yet to post about that wonderful city!
In front of the Dzong (or fortress) in Punahka
A beautiful monastery designed by Sonam’s Swiss architect husband(!)
While driving on the mountain roads, we saw monkeys!
The Dzong in Paro, at night
The night before we left, we were back where we started, at that first room at the Gangtey Palace in Paro
We have a very soft spot in our hearts for Bhutan, but we’re ready to get out of the relatively chilly temps for some warmth in Thailand.