This coming weekend marks the first of two long weekends for us in the TET programme, the first of which coincides with the Ashana Bucha religious holiday and the Khao Phansa parades across Thailand. So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when the morning ceremonies ended and quickly turned into a whole school parade to Watphachi Temple (mostly because I’d already been told about it, although when it was occuring in the day got a bit lost in translation.) As well as their Wednesday white uniforms many of the younger kids were dressed in what I would assume to be traditional Buddhist clothing, whilst many of the older ones were carrying the parade from the front.
As the parade left the school grounds I managed to make it to the front to get some photo opportunities, although I couldn’t help but think that the sight of some British guy with a massive camera hanging from his neck took away from the spectacle of the events. Nevertheless, nobody seemed to mind, so as we approached the temple I tried to get some nice photo opportunities, including some with Pilot, the headmaster.
Oh, and I made friends with another stray dog, who seemed insistent on following me around everywhere in the Temples. Maybe it’s an extension of the Stray Dog Security Team I clearly have, or maybe it’s just because they haven’t worked out that I’m not going to give them any food yet.
The ceremony itself involved prayers and giving out donations to the monks, which consisted of 100 baht notes placed in a plain envelope we then gave over to them during prayers. I didn’t really grasp why this method of donation was really chosen, but I did also get to partake in the prayers and several of the other traditions, which was pretty cool.
Following that the parade made it’s way back to Watphachi (which I never realised was really close to the centre of the Temple area) and now classes are back on as usual. With any luck I’ll be on a train to Bangkok this afternoon and heading to Kanchanaburi tomorrow, so this weekend will probably see me reverting back to pen and paper until I can access my laptop again. Either way, should be fun, and it’s weird to think that I’m at the end of my second week of teaching already.
Oh, and since I managed to successfully call the Argentina Netherlands game last night (even though I slept through it, again)… Shall we say 2-1 to Germany for the final? I’m not a betting man (plus I think it’s illegal here) but if I’m correct I expect Paul the Octopus to be stripped of his title as the master of predicting the World Cup.