Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 19 Monk Chat and a Ride in the Tuk Tuk

What a day!!! After we spent 8 hours on grammar, past tense, future perfect tense, perfect tense, word stress and word merging I was ready for an adventure.   So I headed out to my local the west we would call it Temple and I did what is called a Monk Chat.    You go into a designated room and Buddhist Monk will join you to talk to you to improve their English and tell you about life as Monk.   I had three Monks join me, from Thailand,  from Cambodia and from Vietnam.  The chat started at 5:00 and lasted until 730 when they rang the bell that is was time to leave.   
These guys were great, there English was brilliant and they loved that I had been to all three of their countries on previous trips.  We talked about movies, books, life in each of their countries and why they joined the monastery.   Then I started to ask them questions about their robe they buy them at the local monk shop for 500 baht.   The colors, depends on what fashion statement you wanted to make. Only 1 in 1000 stays in the monastery after they complete their education.  Most come from really poor families and join to get a 5 star education.  One kept asking me to say certain words and wanted to know how he could talk just like me...I said his accent was good for his personality but then he told me he wanted to be a reporter so then I understood why he wanted to lose his accent.  They are to pray every day but the Thai monk told me he was lazy and only did it once a week.   They wanted to know why people crossed themselves and I explain about the Catholic symbol it represented.  Highlight of the evening was being fitted out in one of their robes but they told me I could not take a picture of it because they could get in trouble.   I can honestly say it was a real highlight of the trip so far and it made me forget grammar for a few hours.  
Since I was pretty far from home I took a tuk tuk home and one of the monks hitched a ride with me to the local Internet cafe.   They want me to come back on Wednesday so we can talk about Barack Obama.   
So tonight's pictures are my monks and a picture of my tuk tuk.   Hope you enjoy
Oh yea how many of you know the 40 character Phoenic alphabet that is used in Britain.   The USA of course has 48...Bigger is better you know
Oh yea this was dinner tonight fresh bar b que chicken THAI style...Yummy


  1. Now that must of been really interesting. I'm headed to the Inauguration tomorrow with your older sister! Very excited to go down to the Mall for the Swearing In.

  2. Wow -- Ryan -- you'll have to create a blog and give us the full story -- so I actually know people (Directly) that will be at the big day.... boy we've been waiting for this day of change for many years now... glad that the big day is here.

  3. Hi David,

    what a nice blog! I would love to have you as my english teacher, I think you are perfect for the job. I spent two weeks on the same hemisphere as you, just arrived from China, Suzhou. I was staying with my friends who live there. The weather was COLD, around 0 celcius, but felt much chillier than minus five that we now have in Finland. The cold must have come all the way from Siberia … Your descriptions of thai food makes me hungry. I’m looking forward to tasting your new sweet and sour receipe…..
    And as for Chinese pizza, it was ok, except the tomato sauce was probably made of ketchup.
    Love Eeva

  4. Did you tell him copying your accent will make him sound like a western Pennsylvanian?

    And be careful what you say or write. Just read article where some Australian guy teaching English in Thailand just got a prison sentence for writing things disrespectful of the royalty in Thailand.