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
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
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route No. 23 had been replaced by No. 27.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
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 "http://787129669.qzone.qq.com")