I'm not used to getting out of the train and hearing monks chant. (Bangkok has an elevated public transport system, like the Chicago El but modern and concrete in Brutalist style, and the platforms are two stories up. And the chanting pervaded the whole station.)
Though come to think of it, I'm no longer used to getting out of the train, period. So there's that! I'm also not used to how much activity takes place, here in the tropics, in what feels to me like the outdoors. In a temperate climate, chanting, even if not Buddhist but Christian (well, Episcopalian or Catholic smells and bells), would take place behind closed doors; the sound would waft out through an open window, perhaps, but I certainly wouldn't hear it otherwise.
And speaking of monks, Buddhist ones, here's also the issue of how a society manages democracy when its religion says -- if it does say, I'm no expert -- that your place in this life was determined by past lives. What does that mean in terms of liberty, equality, fraternity? I don't mean, I really don't mean, to get into the "Thais aren't ready for democracy" mode -- heck, are we in this country? -- but and I just want to know how belief in karma and belief in democracy play out. Perhaps as well as neoliberalism and democracy?
NOTE Thailand is a monarchy, and the Lèse-majesté laws are enforced, even against foreigners. Therefore, readers, discussion of the Thai monarchy or royal family is off-topic. Guests in Thailand must obey its laws. Their house, their rules.
UPDATE Also, if anybody knows has listened to the chant and knows what its about, tell us, please.