Who is Loong Ling?

zen monkey

Loong Ling (“Uncle Monkey” in Thai) is the online alter ego of a Canadian writer residing in a rural but not particularly remote part of Thailand, located about a 90-minute drive east of Bangkok. He doesn’t live in a tree, but it’s been many years since he planted his feet firmly on the ground. He takes his inspiration from the gibbon of Zen art and Taoist lore, seen as “a symbol of the unworldly ideals of the poet and the philosopher, and of the mysterious link between man and nature” (according to respected Sinologist R.H. van Gulik, cited here). Sadly, however, he can stake no real claim to sagacity; mostly he just wishes he could be wise in the way of words.

(His wife, the lovely Eidwho is very wise in her own waytells him that “chanee,” the Thai word for gibbon, is also used by Thailand’s famed ladyboys as a slang term for heterosexual women, because the gibbon’s call sounds something like a coarse term for husband in Thai. Make of that what you will.)

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