Part two ***Click here to find out what happened earlier***
And then they are gone. Silence. Aaah, it feels good to breathe. I lay down flat on my back and close my eyes, not knowing what the plan is. A few moments later, Miss crazy eyes storms into the room. She taps me on my feet and points that I should turn around and face the painted image of Buddha. Okay, okay! Looking at me bewildered, with her eyes wide and her neck stretched out forward, she hands me a tiny bottle which looks like some sort of medicine. Uhhhmmm, yeah I don’t know…. She shakes her head aggressively, showing me how to drink it. Alright, alright, hold your horses! It’s another energy drink. Terrific!
A more relaxed, and seemingly trustworthy, nun saves me by entering the room and whisking Miss crazy eyes away. With her hand she signals that it’s time to head out and guides me to the main meditation room. The front wall is entirely covered with a very large Buddha statue and on the sides there are many more tiny ones. Candles are lit. Individual mosquito nets hang all over the room with thin pillows placed inside. Ten spots or so are taken and the nun helps me in one before she finds a spot for herself.
Miss crazy eyes is back again! She has a stern look on her face and shakes her finger in contempt, when she sees me sit cross legged. With her brows frowned, she shows me that I should sit with both my legs to the side folded over one another. Okidoki! This is probably more comfortable anyway. I close my eyes and focus on my breath. At a certain point my head bobs and I feel as though I slip into…well I’m not sure. Did I doze off? It didn’t feel that way. Then what was it? Back to the breath it is.
Someone is pulling me out of my floating state. It’s Miss crazy eyes. Impatiently, she winks me over. I get up way too fast. My vision blurs. The room starts to fill with small black pixels and my ears start to ring. I can’t feel my feet, but keep on walking, trying not to anger the beast. It takes all my energy not to faint. Slowly, I feel the blood flowing down, trying to reach my feet again after having been cut off for such a long time.
She takes me to what looks like a well and pumps up water. Her face has softened and she gives me the cup. I’m pretty sure this water is going to make me sick. I contemplate. But do I really want to anger her again? A shadow casts over her face when she sees me hesitate. Quickly, I take a sip and hand it back to her. Of course, that won’t suffice and I have to finish the whole thing. We walk around the building to the entrance of the meditation room. She folds her hands under her head and points at my cabin. Yeay! Time to sleep! Halfway there, I realize that I left my flip flops and turn back to get them.
In the process of picking them up, a different nun has approached, and firmly turns me around. She indicates that I need to go back into the room, which I was just taking out of. I feel like a rag doll that’s being pulled in different directions. Before I know it Miss crazy eyes is back, yelling at the other nun. She flops her arms around and is literally in her face. It looks like this is an argument they’ve had before. I’m not sure who I want to win, ‘cause I’m quite exhausted. A few minutes later I’m right back where I was before I got taken away. It’s OK. Now I can join the chanting sesh.
Knock, knock. It’s a few hours later and I’m all snuggled up. Can I just ignore this? The incessant nature of the following knocks makes me feel that I can’t. “ One moment, be right there.” I answer more friendly than I feel. Shit, gotta make sure no one sees my home made bed… I cheated again and had grabbed my sleeping bag & yoga mat and placed them on top of the thin sleeping mat, making ‘my bed’ a bit more comfortable.
The more determined nun, who won the battle against crazy eyes, is at my door. I look behind her and see a whole posse of nuns and monks. What.Is.Going.On? She winks me to come outside. “ Wait, let me put on some clothes.” and hold up my hand to give more power to my message. I figured I was safe behind closed doors to just put on my regular sleeping tank top and boy shorts saying “Private lessons” in sparkly pink. No such luck!
Head monk Jim is holding up a very old school Nokia type of phone. Without saying a word he presses the phone to my ear. I look at him confused. He doesn’t say a word, and bobs his head. Guess it’s for me…. “Uhhm hello?” A male voice. Burmese. “Hello?” he replies with a confusion in his voice similar to mine. Nobody speaks. We both wait for the other to explain the call. “Can I help you?” I kick off the conversation. “ You need a room?” the guy goes. “ Uhm, no thank you. I’m all set here.” I answer frowning my brows. “Hello? You need a room?” he goes again. We play the confusion game a little longer, before I pass the phone back to Jim. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what the man wants.”
After rambling on the phone for a bit, he passes it to me again. “ You need a room!” the man tells me. “ You are not allowed to stay on the premises.” From what I gather, immigration does not allow me to sleep on sacred grounds. Well that’s that then! Before I know it, the nuns storm into ‘my’ room and start packing my stuff. “ No please, allow me.” I ask, but they won’t listen. Oh gosh! She’s grabbing my freshly washed underwear. What a delight! They are everywhere. Like ants crawling in the room, grabbing hold of everything. I feel highly uncomfortable, but what’s done is done. Five minutes later, it’s all over. The door of the taxi slams closed. As we pull up, I see Jim’s shadow wave at me in the tail light.
Out of all my endeavors, this must have been the shortest one of them all. I have to laugh at the insanity of the past few hours and actually feel relieved. Guess I’m not ready for nun hood, even if it’s just for one second ; )