German tourist returns bad-luck souvenir
1 December 2003
BANGKOK – A German tourist who took home a piece of decorative glass he found at Bangkok’s sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha and then suffered a two-year run of bad luck has returned his souvenir to Thailand and expressed “remorse for his ignorance”, news reports said Monday.
Chakrarot Chitrabongs, permanent secretary of the Culture Ministry, was quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying the tourist mailed the glass fragment from Germany to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in an effort to improve his soured fortunes.
He said the 2.5-centimetre-long green, polygon-shaped shard was believed to have broken off an old pavilion at the temple, Thailand’s most sacred shrine.
The tourist, who identified himself only as Juergen Z in his letter, claimed a tour guide suggested he keep the fragment as a souvenir after praying for “permission” from the Emerald Buddha.
“Since returning to his country, Juergen suffered bad luck both in his personal and work life,” Chakrarot quoted the letter as saying. “It was just like a curse. Previously such things had never happened to him.”
The tourist was advised by a Thai friend to return the glass fragment.
“He said he felt remorseful for his ignorance, and he urged the TAT to put the glass back into its place,” Chakrarot said.
Subject: German news