Dec 29, 2010

the drunk monk.

Today was hilarious.

It's not every day a drunk monk gives me is phone number.

Say what? Ya, you read that right.

Here's the story.

I get on the bus minding my own beeswax, earphones in place blocking out the world, and take my usual seat in the back corner. The bus rolls to the next stop and two golden robed monks stumble onto the bus. "Haha. National Geographic moment," I chuckle to myself, then keep on listening to Rhianna.

A few minutes later, I realized that the people behind me are talking about me. I turn around and there are my monk buddies, beet red in the face and reeking of alcohol. "Nihao," I say, smile, and turn back around.

"She speaks Chinese!" one of them says, "Go talk to her!" At this point, the seat next to me is empty because people would rather stand than sit next to a foreigner (true story).

Two seconds later a crisp golden robe emerges into my perephial vision and there plops a monk beside me. I inconspicuously take my earphones out because I know what's coming. A question/answer session with my new friend. I had been exposed as a Chi.nese speaker and therefore lost all rights to privacy for the remainder of my time on that bus (30 minutes).

MONK: Hello.
ME: Hello.
MONK: How old are you?
ME: Guess.
He stares at me blankly.
ME: Ok nevermind, I'm 24.
MONK: You foreigners look so old.
ME: Thank you.
MONK: Are you married?
ME: No. I am too young to be married. (my standard response to make me feel better).
MONK: In China we get married at 20. (not true).
ME: That's nice. Are you married?
MONK: No. I wear these clothes. I'm drunk. We just went to a party and we drank a lot of alcohol.
ME: Really? Oh. haha. It's ok.


MONK: Do you have a boyfriend?
ME: No. No one likes me I'm too tall. Other people are cuter than me. (standard response).
MONK: Oh. I wish you one. (basically wished me good luck to find love).


ME: So you are a love Buddha person?
MONK: Not really. Almost love Buddha.
ME: How did you be a monk?
MONK: I did not get high grades in school. Could not continue. So I go to the temple. Now I make my family proud and I live easy.
ME: Where do you live, the temple?
MONK: nods head and smiles. Have you been there?
ME: Yes. 2x. Once alone and once with my mom and sister.
MONK: Your mom and sister are in China? Good I was worried about you not being married living here alone.
ME: No, they came to visit me. I am fine here alone.
MONK: No you are not.
ME: silent (keeping peace).


MONK: Are there Buddhists in your country? (he never asked me where I am from)
ME: Yes. There are many religions in my country. I am a Chrstn.
MONK: Yes, I know.
ME: How do you know?
MONK: I know.
ME: Ok.
MONK: Do you have time?
ME: Yes.
MONK: I want to see you again. When you have time.
takes out a piece of paper from his pocket and writes his phone number. Monk sitting behind us lets out a weird sound.
ME: Your phone number?
MONK: Yes. I am so happy to know you. (repeats about 10 times).
ME: My stop is next. ....insert standard Chin.ese farewell...
MONK: extends hand awkwardly for a handshake. I am so happy to know my new friend. I am drunk. I am Chen. (his name). Call me.
ME: Goodbye, Chen.

As I made my way through the crowded bus, I looked back and saw the two drunk monks giggling. A drunk monk just gave me his digits, I thought. Oh my gosh I love my life. And I love being able to speak Chi.nese so these encounters are possible.

Chen the monk. (with some digits blocked out)

and it's written on the back of a monk talent show advertisement from 2009:

seriously, is this real life?

To countdown to the New Year I am going to be showing my favorite videos of 2010. Unfortunately, videos take forever and a day to load, so I never load them. But I really should. Because this crap is funny.

Today's video was taken on Valentines Day/Chinese New Year 2010 on a bus from Phuket to Bangkok, Thailand, which we referred to as Banger because we are really mature. We had no idea how long the bus was, we were in seats over night, we were dirty and were fed random Thai sandwhichs, and the bus kept playing the strangest music while everyone around us slept.

Sometimes when I need a good giggle I watch this clip. Enjoy. There's more where this came from.

That bus ride ended up being 10 hours. And yes, the same energy was there when we reached the Banger. Because there was a Dunkin Donuts at the bus station. PTL.

walk slow. xoxo.


Lizzie Brown said...

So basically, the monks there are just as dedicated as the seminary students here. They have no other honorable option so they go into the "ministry". Interesting.

Also, I am upset that YOU have a dunkin donuts and in whole region of southern California, there is not ONE.

Ke Xiao Mei said...

haha, that's funny. It was a nice little incite into ministry life anywhere.

And no need to be jealous! That dunkin donuts was in Thailand....A one-time wonder. And we only had enough money to split one donut between three people, it was expensive. haha. I've got nothin' here. Just noodles. And rice. Exciting. Happy New Year!

Mom said...

You finally got your wish...a conversation with a monk. It is interesting that he was so persistant in giving you his phone number.