I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m an Atheist…

It’s not becaue I necessarily have a problem with religion – once you find your way through the layers of bullshit, the fundemental ideas are great; be nice to others, try to avoid generally being a total arsehole etc. I also quite like the idea that it can give people hope, something to turn to when times get tough.

But although religion isn’t my cup of tea, I do find it interesting how it can sit at the core of so many people’s entire world, how it can unite or divide millions upon millions of people, and how people can force themselves to live such dictated lives just on the off-chance that they might get let into the prestigious pearly gates club and spend eternity doing rounds of shots with the likes of Gandhi.

Much to the hatred of my two devout catholic grandmothers, one religion I’ve always been interested in is Buddism; I like the whole idea of reincarnation, as well as the fact my destiny isn’t decided by a heavily bearded man sitting on a cloud. So considering that the population of Thailand is 95% Buddist, I was desperate to visit a Temple while I was there.

Exploring the Royal Palace and the Temple Wat Dho; homes of the Emerald Budda and one of the many Reclining Buddas, solved the riddle of where all of Bangkok’s money had gone.

Within minutes you could walk from a community made of wraught iron where babies were running around with no shoes, to a room filled by a 46 metre long, gold leaf statue.

I felt a bit of a dickhead fraud sitting down next to the heavily religious monks and joining in the meditation and prayers as my Guide suggested – but she did teach me to do  a small Buddist offering with a candle, incense sticks and a beautiful white Lotus flower; purely because I liked the idea that the offering allowed me to make a wish at the end, rather than begging for my place in heaven.

Even with the amount of tourists buzzing around, the Temple felt so calm, usually I feel uncomfortable in churches… but here there was a sense of peacefulness.

But of course I can never just enjoy anything…
As I stood there a man came over and asked something in a foreign language and pointed to his camera. Assuming he wanted me to take his photo I nodded… but before I  knew it he had grabbed me, taken about 5 photos of us together and (before I’d even figured out what had happened) was trying to drag me out of the temple… so much for fucking peace and serenity.

Luckily my dad was there otherwise I’m pretty sure I would have been sold into white slavery or underground prostitution.

But once again (why do I attract these people??) I ask you, please… if you see any ‘for sale’ ads with my photo on knocking around on the internet let me know!!