After finding tutu's school the 5 of us briefly discussed going to the grand palace. I had been told it was a place to see but I didn't have it on the top of my list because it was so touristy. Golf thought I should see it though. Her English isn't great but it's good enough if I talk slow enough for her. She can read English and understand it perfectly if it's written for her. That's how they are taught in the schools, to read it more then speak and listen to it. So I went along with her suggestion and we made our way to the grand palace.
Once again, due to the demonstrations in the city I found myself getting the scenic tour of the city. It seems to me that the demonstrations are sprouting up all over the city and not just holding to one place in a city park. This was a Saturday so traffic should be bad but this was outrageous! We drove past some of the camps and saw Thai military hauling food and water into their own base camps. Apparently the next day (Sunday) the red shirts (farmers) would be coming into the city to march on the capital against the yellow shirts. So the city was preparing for the chaos.
When we finally arrived at the palace parked and walked to the gates we were told we had to be wearing pants and our shoulders covered. They had clothing for us but it was $200 baht. $100 deposit and the other non refundable. So we got our clothing and then I found out that Thai could enter the gate that we were at but Phrawngs (white people) had to walk clear around to the other side of the wall to enter. Golf entered thru the Thai entrance and the rest of us walked around. When we reached the other side we were greeted by Golf running to us and telling them we shouldn't go in. They had raised the price drastically! Thai's were free and everyone else was $500 baht! $15.38 usd! So we went back to return out clothing via a tuk tuk! I actually thought id make it out of Thailsnd without ridding on one. Joe's leg was starting to bother him so we flagged one down and managed to cram all 5 of us into the 3 seated.
I was in town for a Buddhist holiday, the day he was born which was the sane day he died. Army and Golf invited me to the Buddha temple with them after dinner to join in a Thai tradition of walking around the temple 3x for good luck.
We went to dinner first, all 5 of us to a place called MK. Wan had described this place as an Asian hot pot. I'd say it's like a Shari's or a Denny's but it's got a cooking unit in the middle of the table. The customer orders the food, they bring it and you cook it. I'd say it was okay but I wasn't terribly impressed.
Pulling into the temple later that night I noticed dogs... Dogs galore!!!
Joe said the one we were at hardly had any dogs compared to the majority of them. When dogs are abandon in Thailand they are abandon at temples. They don't have animal shelters here.
We entered the temple grounds but only us kids, Joe stayed in the car. I followed Army and Golf's lead with Egh near my side. We picked up a flower bouquet for each of us and put in a donation for them. We each took an incense and a candle as well and lit them from the flame of a giant candle just inside the main entrance. Then we began our walk with everything in our hands while they were in prayer position and we listened to the monks share their word, in Thai as we walked.
Golf translated for me and Army chimed in a little as well.
They told us to forgive our enemy's and live in today. Don't worry about materialistic things because when you leave this place those objects won't matter anymore. The person you are and the person the people remember you being are what matters.
Words from the wise! It doesn't get more true then that and I was happy to be present in that moment with them. Many religions speak of this but it's always a nice to be reminded of the obvious again.
Inside the Buddhist temple during prayer.
That night Joe and I said goodbye, (for now) to the 2 step boys plus Golf and we left on the overnight bus at 11:30pm for Northern Thailand to the town of Phetchabun.