There are times when you cannot afford to be honest with yourself. My brother must believe there is a chance he will survive. Without self-deception there is no way to see it through. He refuses to hear the surgeon’s words about reasonable expectations.
The anthropologist tells the story of phothi bashio. In a strange instance of gender reversal there are times when a hen has been known to crow like a rooster. When this happens custom dictates that the hen must be killed. It is not acceptable for a female voice to be raised.
Devotees bring food to leave in homage at the feet of the goddess. When night falls and no one is there to see, rats swarm the temple to eat the food. Our guide calls them the holy rats.