Friday, February 02, 2007

Shaolin Temple Strikes Back

We were in a cosmetics store this afternoon when an elderly Buddhist monk enters in full uniform, tapping his wooden percussion instrument of some descripton in an obvious ploy for attention.

It seems a donation is in order, and an assistant snatches a quick glance over at a superior to seek some unseen approval. What looks like 1,000 won (about 54 pence) is handed over and the chants a few times and before pottering off, still chanting for effect. This I can understand.

This I can not understand. Later in the evening back at the apartment, the intercom rings followed by a knock at the door. My wife picks up the handset and asks who it is.

The exact response comes: "Let me in. I've come from the temple with some virtuous words of advice."

He was sent on his way with the assurance that we didn't need them. It was a little odd even for Korea, usually people who are preaching are a little more polite than demanding to be let in, and that was his tone.

There are some very strange people here doing some very strange things.

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