Last morning in Bangkok

I wonder how boring and relevant it is being a monk.

I’m at Wat Chana Songkhram at Khaosan Road. As locals come in to kneel at the shrine, clasping jasmine and incense, in the 4 school rooms on either side of the prayer hall novices are in class. The shady low stone buildings are exposed to the outside world by grills that function as windows and give the place the aura of prison. In each room sit 2 older monks at the front reading to the rows of younger monks who are sat behind dark wooden desks. Some are reading, some writing, some reciting, some face down and asleep. The whole atmosphere is rather dull, dry. I can only guess that these are Buddhist teachings. Dharma of Pali. To what ends? It’s all so obscure, mystical, yet commonplace.

There are. 3 younger ones, novices, sat outside around a table. Evidently trying to learn to recite something together. One looks very detached and bored. At the table is a large bottle of coca cola.

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