Back at the Protestant Cemetery

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:


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