Hey furby, clip those ears

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  , Phangnga,
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Something I don't understand: when you become a Buddhist monk you shave your head and your eyebrows....well your family does this for you in a ceremony which is very nice to witness.....but the other day I saw a monk with enough hair in and around his ears to qualify him as an ewok right off of the moons of endor.  My question is, if you are going to take the time to shave even your eyebrows, why not that the extra few seconds and clean up around the ears?  Ear hair, one of god's greatest mysteries. Another thing that I don't understand about the monk hood out here is that its not a life long commitment...hell its not even a week long commitment sometimes.  Every male is expected to become a monk for at least a short period of time to bring good merit upon the family (especially the female members who cannot make merit this way).  My friend Pan's grandfather died and he went to the funeral up near Bangkok and when he came back he had no hair or eyebrows.  he was a monk for a grand total of 3 days.....what the hell is the point of that? I've been on drug binges longer then that and I probably became more spiritually awakened then the 3 day Buddhist crash course offered at the local temple.  Most people in the west view Buddhism as this mystical righteous religion but let me inform you that its just as screwed up and corrupted by the idiocracy of man as any other religion out there.  A monk for 3 days........for Christs sake.

I finally found the time and money and determination to go and do a proper visa run to Malaysia that would set me up for the next 3 months here in Thailand.  I went to book this visa run 2 weeks ago and was told the embassy was closed because of the celebration of the Chinese new year.  This is a Thai embassy in Malaysia so what exactly does the Chinese new year have to do with anything?  well i have given up trying to decipher some of the mysteries with which i am presented with here so I just nodded my head and decided to go a bit later.  So I get on the multiple buses and cross borders and go through a very large hassle only to arrive in Penang Malaysia to find out....the Thai embassy is closed for a Buddhist holiday.  If I had had a gun I would have surely killed someone but alas I was unarmed.  My two options were to stay the extra 5 days waiting for the embassy to open or to go back to Thailand and only obtain a 15 day visa at the border.  If I stayed the 5 days I would have ended up losing out on a lot of money from work plus the costs of a hotel room etc etc so I decided to come back to Thailand the next morning at 5am.  Those of you who think that this is the dream life out here and everything is rosy....well its not always that great.

Congratulations are in order to my brother and his wife who have just welcomed their 3rd child into this wide world.  3....man that is a lot of work and i dont know how they do it but more power to them for sure.  the more kids they have the less pressure i have to reproduce so thats a good thing.  I am in training though..... i have a puppy afterall.  Hopefully i can make it back to chicago this summer to see the new little bugger and also to see my other nieces and nephews who I have not had a chance to be with for a number of years.  There is actually a reason to go home now which is a good thing.

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We'd love to see you! Levi is a super kid and the others are just loving all over him by singing, playing, holding and teaching him all about his plush toys. :) No matter where you go, Thailand or any other place, there are challenges and I don't assume you are always having a hunky dorey time. Life isn't like that. Love to you from OP.

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