Pointy Rhinestone Glasses

Looking at ThailandDon Morreale

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And so it came to pass that I entered the sacred grounds of Wat Rumpoeng with these two extraterrestrials in tow, not sure if the rules would even allow them into Tan Chawut's kuti. Tan Chawut, however, did not stand on ceremony. He graciously invited us all in, and this time an even bigger group of curious monks arrived to crowd in behind us.

Seated in full lotus before the Patimoka text, spine straight as a bamboo, hands clasped at his heart in the manner of an Italian tenor, Tan Chawut delivered an inspired performance that evening. The ancient syllables rang from him like the chiming of a temple bell. His face glowed. His wraithlike body, light as an egret's, now vibrated like a dynamo. The walls shook and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. When it was over, no one spoke. We sat in silence as the room grew dark. Then Tan Chawut closed the text and bade us all goodnight.

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