I’m a man who likes to plan ahead, so I headed to a temple at exactly the hottest time of the day, mid-Bangkok heatwave. The parts of me that hadn’t melted along the 2 mile walk turned up at a temple called ‘Wat Pho’. I did wonder the very same thing. There was a man, who had half as many teeth as is required, who sidled up to me.
“I’m historian, I take you round Wat Pho, I teach you, otherwise you no understand?”
“No thanks mate.” I said.
“Ok, ok, you want boat ride?” He gurned back.
“No than- hang on, you were a historian two seconds ago?”
“Ok, ok, you need taxi?”
“Fuck off mate.”
The temple was beautiful. Or at least I imagine it was, I struggled to see through the sea of selfie sticks and idiots waving them like a surrender flag to intellect. Not that I’m an intellectual.
I shoelessly trundled around a huge golden reclining Buddha. Not quite sure of the significance, maybe he was every bit as hot as I was and needed a rest? Maybe he’d fancy a beer after all the selfie sticks had exhausted him I wonder? I was standing outside The Grand Temple, and I must admit, it was truly Grand. I thought of all the hundreds, thousands of poor souls who worked on it in this heat, chiselling great sculptures, making golden mosaics, carving incredible scriptures into rock and wood, which have stood the test of time long after their grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, and the millions of people who will get great enjoyment from such a masterpiece. And the monks, who so mindfully stroll around their Holy Place. But moreover, in a moment of enlightenment you might say, I suddenly feel hugely connected, to the pair of pigeons who have just shit all over the roof and went to sit in it. Smirking at all the idiots around. My kind of people them pigeons. My kind.