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Monday, June 11

Nothing Says Sunday Spirit Like A Monk "Oh-ing" At Your Door

Last Sunday, while I sat through yet another long day of cramming Cold War knowledge into my head, I heard the most peculiar sound. From somewhere in the neighborhood rose the sound of voices in a steady, drone of “Oooooohhhhh.” One voice would start and it seemed another would answer with the same plaintive sound. It took a few calls before I dragged myself away from the computer screen to peer out and see what was happening outside in my little Japanese world.

I could see nothing.

The voices faded. KH and I laughed it off. I moved on and went back to my work.

A few minutes had passed when the sound came floating into my ears again. This time I stood on our balcony, camera armed and ready, for whatever was passing by and making this most mellow ruckus. Only a few minutes and my patience paid off. Six men, who I can only guess were monks, came shuffling down our narrow road. I hate being caught staring, so I ducked down below the railing and peered through the holes to view the scene on the street below. They stopped in front of each house’s door, faced it and continued making their hollow “O” sound. Never did they knock. Never did anyone approach. And after about a thirty second stance planted firmly in front of each door, they simply moved on.

Were they begging for money with their monosyllabic chant? Were they blessing each house in our little quarter of Zushi? Were they just bored and thought a nice tour of the neighborhood was just what was needed on that beautiful Sunday?

Wish I could tell you. Maybe you can tell me?

PS – There is still more to share of our Thailand travels. Sadly, six classes and a fulltime subbing schedule at an elementary school have been keeping me from sharing. But the grand insanity will be downgraded to just mild madness after this week and I will get back to being a normal gaijin in Japan.

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