Monk Meeting

Day 129: This is my last full day in Cambodia, as tomorrow morning we head back to the airport to fly home.  After the rice drop yesterday we decide to have a chill day by the pool.  We have a wander into town and decide to stop by the monastery that we pass every day on the tuk tuk.  To our great surprise there is a monk there at the gates.  We’ve read up about monks in the Lonely Planet guide (bible) and have been aware you shouldn’t speak to a monk, especially a woman, unless he addresses you first.  Yes we’ve seen lots of monks over the last two weeks, but this was the first time face to face.  What should we do?  I walk to him and bow as you’re supposed to and he speaks first (phew) and welcomes us to the temple.  I ask him if it’s okay to take his photo and he says yes, almost proudly, adjusting his orange sari -sarong, he beams for us with a bright happy face.  We ask him if we’re allowed to look through the temple and he says yes.  We wander through reverently and soon we are joined by him again.  He is not that old and soon I engage him in conversation again (was it me or did he speak first – oh no I can’t remember).  I find out he is 28 years old and has been a monk for 9 years.  He has just taken an interest in learning English and enjoys practising with the tourists.  His English is very good and we tell him we’ve been volunteer teaching kids English in the village.  This  brings a smile to his face as he wants to practise more of his English with us.  I am chuffed.  Here I am talking with a monk!  We say our goodbyes, bow,  and leave donations of cash in the boxes around the temple.  We head back into town for refreshments before heading back to the pool, feeling very satisfied.  I’ve included the photo manipulation of the monk here.  I’ve been working more on creating photoart.  Tell me what you think?

Our last night in town and we go for something tradition and go to watch the Khmer Traditional Dancers at Temple Bar.  They are very beautiful girls, angelic faces, and the costumes are amazing.  They move with such grace and I don’t know how they bend their hands back like they do.  They make great Amok here too, a traditional Cambodian curry dish, with either chicken or fish.

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