Scarves are my guilty pleasure. I probably have about 40 at home and when I travel I have absolutely no self-control. They will probably be in my will someday because I have them from so many places all over the world all with sentimental meaning. So you can only imagine what happened when I heard that if I took a boat an hour north of Muang Ngoi I could go to a looming village where they made and sold scarves. Obviously I was going!
There was no one else that wanted to go to the looming village that day so I had to pay $15 bucks for the boat trip, this had better be good. I got in a little fisherman boat and low and behold my captain was not more than 9 years old-ha! We sailed north and the views were even more spectacular than where we had just come from. While it was annoying to pay for the boat on my own it was a really great experience to be doing this alone. An hour later we arrived to a small beach with little kids playing in the water. My captain brought the boat to shore. I got out and waited for the boy to show me the way (because it looked like we were in the middle of nowhwere) and he just waived his hand motioning for me to go up the hill. Ok so I guess I really was in this ALONE!
I entered into the village and it looked like a ghost-town. No one was out except a few children who smiled and waved. All of the sudden a man saw me and yelled something down the street. Within minutes all the women were coming out of there huts hanging up their scarves. The street was lined with them within 5 minutes. I walked around and saw the looms in front of each hut. These things were ancient! One lady was in the process of making a scarf and all the work she had to do to just loop one piece of thread through the scarf was so tedious. I had heard that these scarves can take 10 days or more to make and now I know why. This was truly amazing, not only where these ladies raising a ton of children they were also the sole income for their homes as their husbands were out during the day hunting and fishing for food. I stopped at one shop, asked “how much” and prepared myself for an outrageous inflated price. It turns out they were $4 bucks!! These scarves that took 10 days to make were 4 bucks! I couldn’t believe it! There were some others a little more ornate that were a bit more expensive but not by much. I went down the street and bought and bought and bought. I literally had no control. After I had cut myself off I noticed a little old lady who was motioning me to come to have a look at her scarves. I went over just to appease her but there was nothing I liked and I honestly was done. She gave me this look like, “please just buy something”. I realized that she was the only one I hadn’t bought from so I threw the towel in and bought one from her too! It would’ve been mean not to and she needed the $4 bucks more than I did. I guess I’ll be making another trip to the post office…..*sigh.
Little kids always play in the water and when the boats leave they get behind it so they can be splashed by the motor. They could do this all day, it never gets old!