For my artist date this week, I took myself to a small temple I had heard about.
I had originally intended to go just for photo taking.
What I got instead was a temple best friend.
As I was recording the deep throated chants of Buddhist monks inside a temple room, a woman approached me, asked a few questions about what I was doing and asked if we could make friends.
I said yes. Obviously. Who can refuse a (possible) Buddhist nun.
So, she took me up to another small room, where she introduced me to all the gods on the drawings inside and showed me how to bow to each one and how many times.
We then sat down and had a chat, where I was forced to come face to face with the fact that my Korean temple vocabulary is not up to par. I understood about 5%. Maybe.
After our intimate chat, where she may or may not have told me it was good I didn’t go to church, we moved on…
…On to the kitchen, that is, where she introduced me to the kitchen staff and smiling monks sitting around fires. She seemed to be quite familiar with the grounds people as well.
Again we moved on to the giant Buddha sitting on top of the mountain, overlooking the modernity of the Gwangan bridge and the largest department store in the world.
After a few awkward photo moments, we carried on to the gift shop, where she then gifted me with a Buddhist prayer bracelet with the animal representing my birth year, the mighty dog.
We sat on the floor with the gift shop worker and Bori, the buddhist cat, sipping instant coffee and discussing the difference between school systems in our respective countries, before the conversation then moved on to my salary. Of course. I explained in my best Korean, that we don’t tell those numbers to strangers.
After leaving the serenity and kindness in the temple, I scooted over to the chaos that is Costco on a Saturday, the weekend before Chinese New Year.
Big mistake. Lesson learned.
Haiku swirled through my head like cinnamon, as the woman behind me bumped her cart into my back. Six times.
Saturday lines at
Costco are unreal. Bad mood.
Never again. Stress.