All posts by There's a gecko in my shower!

I touched a monk!

It was amazingly easy to get medication in bangkok. Finding a reputable pharmacy was the first step. It is well known that counterfeit medications are everywhere out here. Luckily there was a “Boots” (Yes they have “Boots” in Thailand) on Khao San Road just a few blocks away from my hotel. No visit to the doctor was needed. Walk in, ask for antibiotics, pay for antibiotics, walk out. 

My plan for the day was to tour some of the temples, pick up my tickets for the train and visit the infamous “Khaosan road” whatever that was.

After eating the worst western breakfast known to man (A fry up is NOT something South EAst Asia does well), I easily retrieved my train tickets for the next day. I had prebooked these in advance because of the buiness associated with the lantern festival. I was partly afraid I would be scammed, but reviews on the ticket company were fairly positive (thank Tripadvisor) . Luckily “Charlie Connexion Travel and Tour” produced the exact ticket I had ordered for just a small fee. Success! On my way to the temples I would meet my first “travel mate”. I was definitely in a heightened state of alert walking the city. I had read countless warnings of scams, theft, telling you museums are closed, tuk tuk drivers sending you the wrong way, so there was a definite level of alert with this being my first day as a solo female traveller. Sure enough, I was told museums were closed (but they could take me on a tour of the city for that hour at the cheap cheap price…). As i was walking to the temple I was approached by another female. Honestly my first instinct was to be taken aback. “What did she want?”. Well it turned out that what she wanted was directions to the same place I was going. So we went together. We ended up spending much of the day together.

Together we ………….

……..looked in awe at the temple of the reclining buddha

look at the size of those feet!

……………..saw some form of Thai cultural show.

As the day rolled on she had heard about a temple that was lit up at night. We decided to cross the river by boat to visit this temple. As we approcaged the ticket desk, we found this sign. I am assuming that this was a Thai person’s attempt at sarcasm for westerners. Despite being unsure what EXACTLY their point was, I found it pretty funny. As we approached the dock, something made me step back. As I did, I felt something bump into me ( or rather me into them). Suddenly I heard a yelling “no, no, no, no”. I turned around to see a very angry man in an orange robe. For anyone not familiar with Budhhist culture, there are many customs that are unfamiliar to westerners. Trying to be a conscientious traveller, I generally research these and try my hardest to follow them. As I saw this very upset man, I knew immediately what had happened. I had touched a monk-and he was most unhappy about it!! I immediately received stares from Thai people all around me. After apologizing about 50 times, I stepped onto the boat. While I knew what I had done was upsetting to the monk, I didn’t really understand why. As the week went on, I was told by various travelers various horror stories of the repercussions to the monk. These ranged from having to pray for hours to one person telling me he had to fast for a week. Now I really felt bad!!!!! (Fyi I have since found out from a monk that this information was incorrect and due to the fact the touch was accidental on both parts, there are no further repercussions of this poor man). Months later there is still a part of me that recoils in fear at the mere sight of a monk coming towards me -and I can be visibly seen to walk far away from him for fear of it happening again.  Next up Chiang Mai.