Part of this journey involves finding a fast Internet connection to ‘upload’ photographs. I am starting to think the one I have at the moment comes at too high a price! I am not sure what the word is to describe what is simply a very ‘interesting’ situation at this very moment.
Cheng Hoon Teng is ‘historic’, many tourist visit it each day and when they step through the temple gate and enter the main shrine room it is like stepping back in time. Here is ancient China and Buddhism (as well as a couple of other religions too it would seem) kept alive by the faithful in this town. There is a minor city road at the front of the property and a very major one running along the back. So much traffic on a narrow road. Thankfully the road is only about one and half car widths, + a few motor bikes, wide so crossing it to get to this Internet Cafe was not completely death defying! However now here and connected, embraced as I am by surround sounds, I question the wisdom of slipping out of the back door of the temple in search of fast connectivity.
Let’s see now, the cars, tour buses, motorbike, bicycles, lorries and people on foot pass on two sides within feet of where I sit typing this. The cafe, having walls on only two sides the rest only closed by wooden shutters at night is hot and humid. Just to my left is a water feature, blessed water pouring from a bamboo pipe into a circular stone then cascading into a large pottery bowl. The loud Mexican music from the speaker just above my head is the real test! I see that the temperature is a mere 32c. What I thought was steam pouring from the building I now realize is water being sprayed onto the outside tables which are on the pavement. This, yes this is to keep the customers cool, wonderful!
So there you have it, a block away an ancient temple opens it’s doors to all comers to make their bows and say their prayers, offer joss sticks, light candles and offer oil to keep the eternal light burning. Then here, a couple of hundreds yards through the temple complex, a wireless internet connection. They are called ‘hotspots’ by the way!
The fact that this journey can be shared through the medium of the Internet adds a dimension, of offering I guess, that simply seems ‘good’ to do. It does take working at and I am only so glad and grateful that I am able to continue to type…and remain on my feet! Not both at the same time of course.
4 thoughts on “Hotspot”
Rev. Master Mugo – well, it’s certainly a pleasure to read the vived and comic descritpion of the the hot spot. Not exactly a place where I would expect Mexican music – but why not?
Thank you for your efforts to let us be with you.
In Gassho, Jim R.
Jim’s comment about an unlikely place for Mexican music has reminded me of something which I think never got mentioned at the time due to the pace of things in China.
We travelled back from Puto Shan to Da Xie on a fast boat with about fifty other pilgrims. It was one of those vessels where you are stuck in the cabin with not much to see but spray outside so the small TV screen at the front was all there was to watch.
The stewardess loaded a DVD which – in a very rich Chinese ‘folk tale’ style – recounted a story about Kwuan Yin coming in a boat to the aid of a nice young guy new to the village with other Guardian Deities descending from the sky from time to time. Didn’t completely understand the plot but it was fun to watch, especially in that place.
But when this film was finished the next DVD she loaded for us all to watch was – ‘Mr. Bean’! We were treated to all the classics; the diving board sketch, the wrong way exit from the car park, the popcorn at the horror movie and the park bench sandwich. Hard to imagine anything more surreal than a boatload of Chinese pilgrims crossing the ocean from Puto Island roaring with laughter at the antic of Rowan Atkinson, but there you go …..
Thanks, Iain, for giving us that lively image of pilgrims enjoying Rowan Atkinson. I must say that Mr. Bean has developed a reputation in our household of almost bodhisatvic proportion for his ability to pull us out of whatever doom and gloom place we may have slipped into.
I hope you are back home and rested. Thank you and Edera so much for taking such good care of our precious Monk.
In Gassho, Jim R.
Yes, thanks Iain for posting the Mr Bean event. On the bus ride following that ferry ride I happened to see out of the corner of my eye a large stuffed bear the size of an adult straped to the back of a man riding a motor bike! Fresh from seeing Mr. Bean my first thought was that it was some kind of skit, but of course not…one sees many ‘interesting’ things while on the road. There was not much chance to write about the everyday life aspect of being in Japan, visiting temples etc. I guess that will have to come next time we travel, eh?