The monks had taken a vow of silence.
When I arrived there, unfortunately, a monk was leaving the premises for good. He had been a monk for exactly three years. The Monk Superior, who was allowed to talk to me because he was meeting me for an interview, explained that monks are not allowed to speak apart from once a year for thirty seconds when they get to meet Monk Superior in private.
After spending a whole year at the monastery, this particular monk was invited to speak to Monk Superior. He said, "the food here is too salty!"
After spending a second year at the monastery, he told Monk Superior, "the bed is too hard to sleep on!"
On the third year which ended yesterday he told Monk Superior, "my room is too cold!" At which Monk Superior replied, "I think you'd better leave; you've done nothing but complain since you arrived here!"
I was given permission to tour the monastery as long as I did not talk to anyone to preserve their vow of silence.
I went to the carpentry workshop where two monks were working quietly. As I got in, one monk was distracted by my presence and hit the hammer hard on his finger.
He stopped what he was doing and picking up a pencil he wrote "Ouch!" on the wall.
The other monk approached him and wrote underneath, "Did you hurt yourself?"
The first monk wrote under it, "OF COURSE I DID YOU ****"
The second monk wrote, "You don't have to shout!"
At this point, another monk came in the workshop. Picking up a pencil, he wrote, "Who's been writing on the wall? I've just painted it yesterday!"
The first monk who'd hurt himself wrote, "What's it to do with you? Why don't you just **** off!" And then he pushed the monk who'd just got in.
A fight ensued. One monk held the other by the neck like wrestlers do, and before long they were both rolling on the floor cassocks aloft. I noticed that they wear white underpants with red polka dots.
They knocked over one table and the various tools and instruments fell to the ground without making a sound.
At one point they stopped fighting and one of the monks wrote on the wall, "AAAAAAHHHHH! That hurt!"
A fourth monk came in and wrote, "Please stop fighting both of you! Or I will write to Monk Superior on his wall!"
The monk who'd hurt himself stormed out of the workshop slamming the door behind him. The door did not make any sound. I noticed that the edge of the door was padded with heavy cotton material to stop it making a sound when closed.
The remaining monks then left too without saying a word.
At this point Monk Superior entered the workshop and wrote, "Have you been writing on the wall?"
I said, "Of course not!"
I was thrown out of the monastery for speaking and breaking the vow of silence.