I’ve always been a relatively active person, but I must admit, that my inner slug rejoices and I’m a wee bit jealous every time I see someone kicked back takin’ it easy.
For decades, doctors have recommended relaxation for stress relief and improvements in overall health. But in America somehow the message frequently goes unheeded. So here’s our salute to all the folks we’ve encountered in our travels who reminded us that a little R&R is no bad thing.
The ruins at the Angkor Wat Complex in Cambodia are spectacular, but the stifling heat and humidity can make long days a chore. The Ta Prom Palace in Angkor was our favorite ruin, but for this zonked-out construction worker, a picturesque window was nothing more than a convenient place for a mid-day snooze.
And this tuk-tuk driver transformed a short siesta into a power nap with an ingeniously rigged hammock.
This Angkor Thom mahout had the perfect idea – an elephant recliner in the shade. With its passenger-basket backrest, soft-shoulder seat, and bristly-skull footstool, it made a comfy spot to await the next fare.
For foreign visitors, there are few places more exotic than Bangkok’s Grand Palace. But for this employee, a bit of a rest in a cool spot, and catching up on the local news was far more appealing.
Traditionally in Laos, boys are expected to spend a period (usually 3 months) living as Buddhist monks. This rite of passage brings great merit to their families and improves the karma of deceased relatives. In our travels throughout Southeast Asia, these boys were a common sight. Some were serious, but most were just being boys – playing soccer, roughhousing in the temple garden, and fiddling with their cell phones. Or like these mini-monks in Luang Prabang, just goofin’ off.
You certainly can’t tell from the restful pose of this gent, but he was relaxing about 20 feet from Nicosia’s Green Line – a United Nations Buffer Zone between the Greek and Turkish sides of Cyprus. Tensions have eased somewhat between the two countries … but guards stand at the border, and a thorough bag search awaits anyone crossing.
And this couple wins the Big Lebowski prize. If there was ever a picture of “deeply casual” this is it. A bench in the sun, on a cool day in Wellington, New Zealand was the backdrop for this photo. The Dude-style hat, twisted and tilted to keep the sun out of his eyes absolutely makes the look. Unknowingly he raised kickin’ back to an artform.
With our recent move and a total kitchen renovation going full tilt, our R&R has diminished to nil, but with some luck, maybe you’ll find some kickin’ back time today.
James & Terri
P.S. And as Terri pointed out, have you noticed that most of these people are guys. Umm.