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Johnny Foreigner

Monks Are Clearly Happier Abroad

I might moan about what stuff’s like abroad, but there is one group of people who should definitely consider moving abroad.

I’m talking about monks.

While visiting Thailand I couldn’t help noticing that monks get afforded all kinds of perks that lay people don’t usually have access to.

For a start, at Thailand’s airports, they’re able to use the diplomatic lanes at airports.

And once they’re whisked through immigration, they can then be assured of a seat on Bangkok’s crowded public transportation systems:

Special perks for monks on the Bangkok BTS Skytrain system...

Special perks for monks on the Bangkok BTS Skytrain system…

On special religious holidays, there are even gift sets that you can buy in supermarkets and give to the monk of your choice:

Tesco Monk Set Box

Tesco Monk Set Box

I can imagine a supermarket marketing team worrying about what to include in such a set, for fear of causing great offense. So this kit seems to play it safe, with a toothbrush, toothpaste, a razor and paracetamol tablets. Hmm, maybe that last one is a curious inclusion.

I found quite a few monk gift sets on display. Here are some more:

More monk gift ideas...

More monk gift ideas…

And another shelf full of them:

Supermarket shelves full of gift packs for monks...

Supermarket shelves full of gift packs for monks…

Tinned foods and green tea seemed to be popular items to include in these sets. I certainly didn’t see any bottles of Sherry that are a common gift for the clergy back in my own country.

What about your country? Do members of religious orders get any kinds of special perks?


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