On our first night in Luang Prabang Hannah and I went for a walk around the city. As we headed up a small hill we both heard some chanting. We took a right into a Wat and followed the noise to a temple where a dozen monks and novices were chanting. The music was so beautiful that we took a seat and listened for about fifteen minutes:
The next night Hannah and I decided to go back and listen to the music again. We took our seats outside the temple and enjoyed the methodical sounds of the monks. Before we knew it the monks were finishing up and walking out of the temple. One guy -- who later told us he was a novice and not a monk -- bee lined towards Hannah. He started to chat her up as if I wasn't there. My brother instincts combined with the knowledge I gained while being single from 2001-2008 told me that this guy was HITTING ON HANNAH. I don't want to be disrespectful but he was HITTING ON HANNAH! There's no ifs/ands/or butts about it, I really felt like if I didn't pipe in he was going to try and kiss her. For a sober monk he had the look of a horny drunk guy at closing time at the bar.
Before I knew it he invited Hannah (and me with reluctance) back to his room. Yeah, the novice invited us back to his room.
(PICTURE: Hannah never thought she'd end up on a guy's bed in a Buddhist monastery.)
The first thing I noticed when we entered his room -- and I will forever hate myself for not taking a picture of -- was a Playboy picture. No, not an actual naked picture of a girl but a Playboy insignia taped to his wall. I already had a bad feeling about this guy and this started to confirm it. We then took a seat on the novices bed and he started to ask us questions and answer some of our questions. The one thing that really stands out in my head is him telling us about "bad novices" who have gotten kicked out of the monastery. I mean, this guy couldn't have been far behind.
He then started to tell us how he doesn't want to be a monk and wants to be a tour guide in Luang Prabang...and then asked us to buy him clothes so he could become a tour guide. He wanted us to sponsor him leaving the monastery. I wish I had a tape recorder to record the awkward silence that filled the room. To break the silence I gave him five dollars and told Hannah that we had to go.
Yeah, we got swindled by a monk. The thing is though, I'm 99% sure that if I wasn't there he would have tried to make a move on Hannah. I know that sounds ridiculous but it was a "had to be there" feeling. Since that day though whenever I see something like this...
...I wonder if monks have a code: If the robe is on the line, the chick inside is mine.