A Busy Time for Master Ben

As Sa and I needed to go to Bangkok to make her English Visa and as Cha’s wife would be in hospital for a couple of days Sa asked if we could take Nong Ben to Lat Buri for the night so she could take him to see her favourite monk and get him blessed. Much to my better judgment I agreed!

Short Time Hotel me thinks!
Short Time Hotel me thinks!

We set off OK and reached the UK visa Office in Regent House, Bangkok . It took 3 hours to submit the application during which time I had to stay outside with Ben, as they won’t let us inside. As you can imagine Ben really wasn’t too happy but he just about kept is cool.
So it’s off to Lat Buri. A two Hour drive from Bangkok. We eventually got there to find our favourite hotel closed for the night and had to go searching for another which was a real pain at 8pm. However we found what I think was really a short time hotel which looked like it had come straight out of a cartoon. I think Ben enjoyed the bright colours, but as for me, it just gave me a headache!
I was getting grump because I hadn’t eaten all day and Ben was tired so we ended up trying to eat quickly in a restaurant with an unhappy little boy with his nappy overflowing – not the nicest of situations.
Not a Happy Chap
Not a Happy Chap

After a bad night’s sleep it’s off to the temple. I really tried hard to look after Ben while Sa did her bit. The trouble was, it was very hot and Ben was obviously uncomfortable but that seems to take second place to the temple.
Eventually everything was over and poor little thing got his blessing and his bit if hair cut, but oh boy did he let everyone know he was hot and unhappy. Checkout Ben screaming on the Monks lap!
Apparently this is a Buddhists ritual which is why Sa wouldn’t cut his hair. The Monks have to make the first cut! I never will understand!
Once it was over, I was looking forward to a nice run home! Sa said to me please can we stop quickly to see a friend and go to the department store – foolishly I said yes. It wasn’t the friend or the department store that was the problem, but leaving things late meant that we got caught in the traffic for the Queen’s birthday celebration! Big Mistake! You have never seen anything like it. What should have taken 20 Minutes took 3 hours. Unfortunately for us the Boys in Brown can’t organise a piss up in a brewery so we watch as policemen and motorist argued face to face while we waited and waited and waited. At least it provided some entertainment.
Ben gets his Ferrari!
Ben gets his Ferrari!

All in all what should have been a 4 hour journey took 7 ½ hours so poor Master Ben really had had enough when we arrived home.
The only really bright point today was that in the department store I fell in love with a baby walker. Ben’s eyes lit up when we put him in. So it was an easy sale. When we got home I couldn’t believe within 5 minutes he was pushing himself backwards. I really didn’t expect to see that for a few months. Amazing Babies!
Anyway Ben has his new toy and he can have a hair cut tomorrow! Thank God for that.

Bens First Merit Making Ceremony

Oblivious as Always
Oblivious as Always

In spite for his cold (which is better today) Sa was determined that Master Ben was going to make it to Pattayas yearly Merit Making Ceremony. So we got him up at 6am and he sat in the Sun with the rest of the family of 3 hours while the monks droned on and on and on…… I am not sure who was more uncomfortable. A very hot little Boy in his carry cot or Daddy trying to sit on the ground for 3 hours!

The idea of the ceremony is to bring good luck and prosperity to Pattaya. I can think of plenty of ways to do that and none of them involve today’s proceedings. It totally amazes me how much food and supplies the monks receive in the hope that it will bring people good luck.


Ben Makes Merit!
Ben Makes Merit!

As always Ben was as good as gold not one murmur. He drunk lots of water and milk then fell asleep despite all the noise around him. But the most important think for Sa was that Ben made his first offering to a monk. It made her so happy. It was quite a spectacle but was it really worth getting a 4 Month old up at 6am for! I am not sure.

Family Visitors

Blessing Ben
Blessing Ben
On Sunday, two car loads of family arrived to come and look at Nong Ben. He seemed completely unfazed by the event and slept through most of it, even though he was being used for pass the parcel between all the Aunts and Uncles. The final stage of their visit was of course the Buddhist ritual of tying string and money around his wrists to bring good luck.
Interestingly this starts to bring up the question of Religion for Nong Ben.
My best friend Deano fired the first salvo last week by giving Ben a lovely little cross, but I am sure it won’t be long before he also has some little Buddha as well.
Anyway thats a battle for the future, not now. He will be fine until he is old enough to understand.