Snake Temple

Round The World Trip

Malaysia had a variety of temples. This was my favorite because it was so different than the others. Snake Temple in Penang, Malaysia housed poisonous snakes that were free to slither where they wanted inside the building, and were fenced in a large breeding area outside. When I entered the temple, I was very careful where I stepped and where I put my hands.

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Snake on top of a picture frame

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A local Malaysian family told me about an uncle who visited Snake Temple, and a viper fell into the hood of his jacket without him realizing. When he was leaving the temple, someone informed him of the snake. Within the next few years, this uncle became very rich. The family suggested that if a snake fell onto us, that we would be very lucky.

16Snake Temple near Penang, Malaysia I am already lucky. I did not want a snake falling on me.Snake Temple near Penang, Malaysia Snake Temple near Penang, Malaysia The snakes were very relaxed and none were aggressive. Of course, no one was messing with poisonous snakes either.Snake Temple near Penang, MalaysiaAll in all, a unique experience.

 

1st Opera in Belgrade, Serbia

Impressions of a Country

I love the country of Serbia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbia, http://www.serbia.travel/ http://www.serbia.travel/terms-of-use/

The people I met were all wonderfully kind to a stranger, and people thanked me for coming to their country. People I met on the street, and on the bus asked me to pass the word along to tourists, that Belgrade is a wonderful destination for a holiday. And I agree, here is one example of why….????????????

 

 

I was invited by a friend to attend the Opera which had a show playing while I was there.
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 credit to http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Beograd_-_National_Theater_02.jpg

I have never been to an opera (as a matter of fact, it is on my bucket list, but I hadn’t made much effort to cross it off the list yet. I was afraid of seeing one of the stereotypical operas that bore a person to death, and wanted to be sure that I enjoyed the event.) This was a perfect opportunity to visit the National Theatre – which was still in is beauty and glory and had survived communism. I felt worldly.

But I didn’t have a thing to wear!

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Again, part of the beauty of traveling and meeting interesting people along the way, was that I was able to borrow clothes that were more appropriate. It was fun wearing something different apart from the several outfits I packed for most occasions and had worn every day for the past 120 days.

Belgrade is an old city. The National theater  was built in 1869 and had only 11 rows of seats on main floor, and 4 stories of box seats on either side of the room.???????????????????????????

 

 

 

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The gilded gold details????????????????

 

 

 

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and the painted ceiling reminded me of the Sistine Chapel.

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My imagination thought of the scaffolding and the techniques that were used so long ago when painting a ceiling while lying on one’s back. And I wondered who thought of the designs?

While sitting in 7th row and not understanding a word of the language being spoken, I was able to use all of my other senses,

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drinking in the colors of the painted ceiling,???????????????????????????????????

and absorbing it into my memory, down to even the smallest detail of the brass row marker in the red carpet.

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This was truly a place of entertainment and quite an intimate setting actually. I now understood, that opera was not just about seeing a large woman wearing a dress that showed her heaving cleavage. It also was about costumes, a set,  other characters, and a story line, and most importantly, an audience who would share energy with the people in any live event.

In the end, I had a wonderful experience. I could not understand a word, but was able to get a general idea of the story. I admit, I was a little lost in quite a few parts of the story, but in end, all the characters were happy.  It was a large cast, so there was lots of singing and a variety of dancing and singing by a lot of people. I give it two thumbs up but cannot advise you to see it, since I still don’t know the name of it.