We got up this morning, had breakfast and caught a motorbike taxi to the bus station. We were actually walking their ourselves when we stumbled onto an an old man who offered us a ride as we walked past his house. He was a funny little guy with a great big friendly smile so we couldn’t help but accept his offer.
As we walked up we saw his back was covered in a large tattoo written In the Thai alphabet, so while it was illegible to me it was very detailed and very beautiful. Christine informed me that she’d seen the same design before and that it was a spell of protection that the monks do. Sadly, I did not get a picture but the idea is fascinating to me.
Thailand is one of, if not the most, populous Buddhist countries in the world and it has greatly changed a lot of my outlook on Buddhist culture. I suspect and hope that I may be misinterpreting things but at first glance there seems to be a lot of materialism and superstition around it here, which was not at all what I had understood from the beliefs previously. I also, in general know very little about Thai Buddhism and how it varies from other forms, this is something I plant research further when I return to having a regular Internet connection.
I have noticed that meat is very popular over here but beef is almost nonexistent. This fascinates me because a spiritual buddhist is typically vegetarian so I’d suspect a lot less meat as a whole, but the no beef thing one would guess to be influenced by Hindu beliefs. One this is for sure, there is definitely a friendly, laid back culture of lovingkindness here, so that says something. I definitely need to read more before I go on talking about this as I’m sure to make myself sound ignorant to someone with a greater understanding and possibly offend someone.
We are headed now to Ayutthaya which used to be the capital of Thailand before Bangkok. We’ll be meeting up with some of Christine’s friends from her job over here (note: I forget if I mentioned this but Christine is over here teaching English as a foreign language). She tells me it’s among here favorite places here, I’m excited all around.