It was day 8 when I sat across from the monk with a juice box. He looked western, but in silence I couldn't rely on his accent to place where he was actually from. His head was shaved, and he wore layered maroon robes with his right arm uncovered. He looked up and smiled, as though to say hello.
I noticed his juice box because no one else in the dining hall had one. I still don't know where it came from. We were seated near the buffet that held comically large pots of rice, lentils, and vegetables, as well as bowls of oranges and a large tray of lasagna. Food for 120 people. Another table nearby held large dispensers of fresh ginger lemon tea, chai tea, hot water, and cold water. In the 40-degree weather most of us opted for hot beverages. The stainless steel cup doubled as a hand warmer.