We went down the street to see how things are holding up at the Protestant Cemetery. They’re building an enormous new apartment building right in front of it:
The large white monument is that of Henry Alabaster, one of the first British visitors to Siam to learn Thai; he ended up serving Rama V for many years, and at his death the king erected this monument to him. Inside it has a curiously aggrandizing inscription:
What it says, and you can’t really read it in this photo, is “A prophet is not without honor / save in his own country”. What exactly this is meant to mean is unclear. Alabaster was not well-loved by the British for his service to the King, and so was possibly not honored in his own country, though following this analogy is a little confusing. This monument is also maybe a cenotaph. A little before you get to that one, you find this snail-encrusted grave informing you of salient detail of Henry Alabaster’s life:
(Before doing that he created an ointment for “all sorts of flesh wounds and minor skin irritations”.) The cemetery is still in use occasionally; either they are digging a grave here or digging up the dead. But it is perilous to do so in the rainy season: it’s full of tadpoles.
The cemetery is still full of snails. Also we met a lizard:
He was not very happy to see us: