Friday, October 31, 2008

So glad to be in Thailand (Monday, 10/20)

After much travel and little sleep, we are finally in Thailand, and life is good. It is so nice finally being in Thailand, especially after being in India for several weeks. Thailand is everything that India is not. India is loud, dirty, crowded, unsanitary, uncouth, and most people on the streets are trying to screw you out of your money. Thailand is peaceful, orderly, clean, mostly sanitary, and the people are genuinely friendly. Thailand was never ruled by colonial powers, is based on a matriarchal system, and most of the people are Buddhist. It all makes for a country that is just delightful to be in, especially after being in a country as fucked up as India. Thailand has been influenced by both eastern and western cultures, but still maintains something uniquely Thai. As Grace put it, “Thailand is happy-weird.” We watched a cartoon that really just summed up Thailand well. It involved dancing cartoon crocodile characters, mice and cows playing instruments, and everyone singing about the “Merit Sphere.” Here are the lyrics:

Come on brother and sister. Come and celebrate, on November 2, 2008. The casting of the Jhana seat, in pure gold, of the Queller of Mara who has, long been immersed in the Jhanas. Come to make merit together. Luang Pu’s Kathina, the opportunity for everyone to make great merit. It’s now quite late already, I must say farewell, my mind is concerned, being in love with the Merit Sphere. I wish to make this merit, together with my Grandpa. Grandma will be pleased if she knows. I told you a long time ago, whoever is the follower, of Master Nun Chand, must come to make this merit. I wish to make this merit. How much are you contributing? Lots, that’s all. Well, how much? To be inside the Jhana Seat, that’s all. I love you truly. What indeed can be compared, to the Merit Sphere? What indeed can be compared, to the Merit Sphere?

Oh yeah, I love Thailand!

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