Thursday, November 26, 2009

My guardian spirit - Bangkok, Thailand

A girl who I used to date,  when we woke up one morning, told me that my room was inhabited by a ghost. He appeared in her dreams, wearing his shroud. He was not the scary type though: an Asian version of Casper, the smiling ectoplasmic boy of the animation-movies.

He slowly approached her, kind of hovering over the bed, and politely asked her who she was. When she said she was a friend he said it was OK, invited her to come back again and then disappeared. 

Thai people believe in ghosts and spirits, they like to talk about them, make movies about them, it's a mix of dread and fascination. Thailand has real and elaborate ghost culture

When you go to a Thai restaurant, a house or a hospital you're likely to spot a small colorful shrine, like a little house on top of a pedestal. On the porch of the house there will be bottles of soft drink, fruits, rice, flowers and incense sticks. The Thais believe that some guardian spirits live and linger about the area. These spirits need to be taken care of, as a token of respect or for fear of their rage. 

I told the girl that I had talked to my ghost and confirmed that she was indeed a friend of mine. Surprisingly enough I wasn't kidding: in  the way of one who comes from a distant place, with a Christian background mixed with rational skepticism, socialism, materialism, liberalism, capitalistic shallowness et cetera et cetera, without a clue of how approach a ghost, with guilty secrecy and embarrassed haste, I had really tried to talk to the ghost! She thanked me for that without irony or mockery.

Not that I really believe in ghosts but since I've been told there's one in my apartment, and I could be wrong and ghosts might exist, I might put some water somewhere in my room.

Image "Hamlet and his father's ghost" by J.H. Fussli, 1780-1785, from 

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