Coin Circle

28 Jan 2008

The golden face peers at me from between the pillars. At fifty metres long, I can't even see all of Thailand's biggest Buddha at once.

I'm distracted by a continuous rattle, as if something's on the roof. It's not until IÂ walk around the other side - spending thirty seconds seeing nothing but golden body - that IÂ see what it's coming from.

Perhaps it's hypocritical of me, but IÂ join in:Â IÂ spend 20 baht on a jar of small change, and drop one coin in each of several dozen metal pots, contributing both to the wat's upkeep and the noise that IÂ heard on the other side. IÂ obtain no spiritual relevation whatsoever, until IÂ reach the end of the line, where an orderly is methodically emptying each of the metal pots into a larger basket. As IÂ watch, he wheels his cart around in a slow 180, and returns the change to the desk IÂ bought it from.

It makes me think of the - possibly apocryphal - task of emptying a lower bucket into an upper one which has a hole. The change flows around a circle. Perhaps it serves a purpose other than just keeping the lights on.