Travelers' Trifles or What I See From Mountain To Sea by M.A.C.
There is a very large room in the Train station of Bangkok where I had to go to find the train south to Malaysia. There are queues all around this large room and I had to wander and stare at the destination boards for a long time. A long time wandering and staring until I found the train to Hat Yai. That was the train I needed so I queued up and slowly made my way to the window and bought the ticket. The ticket was very cheap because I chose second class. The train from Bangkok to Hat Yai was very comfortable for me because it was not overly crowded. Several people would sit next to me so they could talk to me. Eventually a young Buddhist monk sat next to me. He spoke very good English. He was quite young so I thought that he may be one of those part time monks who live only a few weeks as a monk. In Thailand most people will live as a monk for a few weeks. It is part of the culture and may extend also to the women but I am not sure about that. He invited me to stay at the monastery where he was heading to. I agreed to follow him there so I did not get to Hat Yai that day. This monastery is about 75 miles north of Hat Yai in the vicinity of Phetthalung, just east of Trang. I was treated very well by the locals. They would feed me food from the many bowls that were first offered to the monks. It was difficult to choose food from only three or four bowls but that was all I could handle eating each morning. I felt guilty when I did not choose food from a bowl so I tried to choose food from different women each morning. I also accompanied the head monk to a school room that is located on the monastery grounds. They were teaching English to young students about 15 or 16 years old. I would sit in front of the class with the head monk and answer the questions that the students could ask in English. It was easy and fun answering the questions because they were short and basic inquiries about myself and life in USA.