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See the World by Bus
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (11)

22 December 2007

The monks in our monastery usually do not travel around, consequently do not know the world very well. Once a businessman from Shanghai came to burn incense, and described to us junior monks what a big place Shanghai is. "Bigger than ten Watery Towns put together," he said. "Regrettably its sky is not really blue," added he. We don’t know how much truth there is in his words, but we do feel it’s a bit hard to imagine - how could a city be so big, and how could the sky not be blue?

The longest trip I've ever taken in my life is from Watery Town to Ma Family Town by bus, when I need to bring something to the Precious Buddha Light Temple for my master.

As we go to the towns quite often, the locals have long got used to our presence, only those from other places would feel quite curious about our peculiar appearance. So by and large we are able to use public transport to get around without creating much dramas.

But sometimes theatrical incidents do occur, and on other occasions, bus travel provides one more opportunity for us to see the world and observe the human nature.

Once a woman carrying a toddler in her arms happened to sit next to me on bus, and asked her child if he knew who I am.

The child pointed at my hair free head while announced aloud, “Ball, ball, ball.”

The mother was extremely embarrassed, hurriedly forwarded her apology to me. She obvious didn’t know what my name is - that is "No Anger".

In another instance I waited for route No. 23 at a bus stop with a middle-aged woman (大婶), and had waited for ages without seeing the bus to materialise. Finally I went to check the bus sign and found a notice informing the public that the route No. 23 had been replaced by No. 27. During the time when we were waiting for our bus, several of the route 27 came to the stop to pick up passengers. Anyway, it didn’t take long for us to board another No. 27.

The season was in the middle of the spring, and our bus proceeded along the road in the middle of the land in verdant green with wild flowers blossomed all around. The air was thick with the refreshing fragrance of the wild flora wafted into the bus by breezes through the open windows, overpowering the smell of petrol.

But the middle-aged woman who waited for the bus with me didn’t seem to take much notice of this seasonal wonder. She met a acquaintance and kept narrating the story at the bus stop.

It’s a pity. As she was preoccupied with the past mistakes which she could not undo, she missed out what she was able to enjoy at the present.

(You can visit Monk No Anger's personal blog to read his original posts in Chinese at "")

Pre: No Talk
Next: Winter Solstice 2007


Seasonal Wonder in the Watery Land

A scene outside a watery township in Zhejiang Province

The rural area on the outskirts of Chongqing


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