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Kim’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 30 Oct 2007

Location: Singburi, Thailand

MapWell today is my birthday, so happy birthday to me. The day has started with an offering of alms to the monks or should I say in this case, monk! They walk down the road with a little person following pushing a cart and collect food from each house they pass. In this case, the poor man had several bags of food and stuff from the eight of us. There is a way to give alms, shoes off, a bow and then food is placed in the cart. As we are all women, the monk cannot accept food directly from us. It is a very strange religion that always its monks to come in and out of the religion - not a case of once a monk, always one, they can smoke, sleep with women and most of them have tattoos and mobile phones. I am also not too sure about a religion that so openly asks for monrey at every given point in the day but something new. Once the food has been accepted, a quick chant and he is on his way to the next house. We are going to look at the Wat ( temple) today for those that wish to stay with the monks overnight. As you might have guessed, I have decided not to do this - there are somethings that you can do for the experience and some that just do not sit right and this is one.
Breakfast comes and goes and off we set - Kaye has given me a card and a small present, so I do not feel totally alone today, I felt a little sad that no one had sent a card from home but I suppose that everyone is too busy to remember. More shopping and then the temple. Once again, not as the picture tells of a clean place with chanting monks and quiet but a rather run down temple with building works and the abbot sat on the phone, smoking. I am really glad that I have already said I was not going and several of the other girls have also decided not to stay.
Back at camp, I find a birthday card on my pillow from everyone and at dinner there is a cake, Thai style - beers at the bar and then bed as those who are going to the temple stay leave early in the morning.