The slap victim, identified as an English teacher named “Jeff”, remained seated in the train compartment and merely winced as the shaven-headed monk in flowing orange robes disrupted his own sanguine image with open-handed blows.
The offence? A verbal misunderstanding as Jeff tried to offer his double seat to two women and sit next to the monk himself, on a train travelling from Bangkok to Phitsanulok on December 7 , the Bangkok Post reports.
Footage of the incident was uploaded to YouTube four days ago, drawing more than 400,000 views.
Jeff, who speaks with an Australian accent, said “Fine, fine” in the video but the monk apparently lashed out because he heard “kwai, kwai”, a deeply offensive term in Thai slang meaning buffalo.
The footage shows just one slap but Jeff later tells a rail security guard who intervenes that he was struck three times.
“I gave the seats to the ladies, I sat next to the Thai monk, he wasn’t happy and I got slapped,” Jeff said in a follow-up video about the incident.
“To me sabai, sabi,” he said, which means fine. “Thailand is Thailand, I love living in Thailand.”
An expat slapped by a monk on a train in Thailand