So many days = so many nights = so many places to sleep.
So here’s another issue of TLW Cribs, and this time it’s entitled “the twenty-seven gods.”
…first I had to walk through some pretty hot and dry places to get there though:
…other places just looked like they were about to burst with fertility:
All in all, I didn’t see that many people on the way, though once there was this girl with a funny T-shirt:
…and here’s another O.G., though he didn’t seem so happy to see me:
I guess I must look like some sort of Santa Claus gone bizarre by now.
…there was something else on the way that caught my attention:
Burial mounds. Why were they walled in only on one side (NW)? Why was there only one headstone? And what exactly was the pattern for the rock decorations?
Having nobody to ask (since there were no living people around), the only thing I could do was take these questions and put them here. Maybe someone will know.
…then I arrived at Sishili Temple 四十里寺:
This structure originally dating from the Ming-dynasty includes both Buddhist and Taoist shrines on a mid-size temple ground.
There was a lady who was busy painting murals on the temple walls. She wouldn’t have her picture taken, but she was extremely friendly and seemed very happy to show me around:
It was very interesting to get to see her workplace:
We had tea and juangao 卷糕 – a local kind of the glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi 粽子 that should traditionally be eaten on this day.
Anyways it got pretty late, and at some point I painfully realized that there was no hotel around.
“No problem, you just stay here in the temple!” the friendly lady said and jumped up.
At first I was reluctant, but she wouldn’t have any of it, so I followed her to a place where she told me to put my stuff down.
It was right in front of the Buddhist shrine:
Then she left.
I took my shoes off.
Then a very old and very tiny Grandma appeared in the door and started talking to me in a very exclamatory voice that sounded like trouble. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, but she began pointing at my stuff, then making a movement with her hand, as if to throw everything outside on the street.
“Grandma, I can’t understand what you’re saying! Do you really want me to leave? Just where should I sleep then?”
Aren’t temples also there to help people?
Then luckily the friendly lady reappeared and helped clear things up: “This old Grandma is the temple keeper. She is trying to say that you can’t sleep here in the Buddhist part of the temple – but that’s no problem, we can just put you in the Taoist part!”
So there I was ten minutes later, with my stuff laid out right in front of the Taoist shrine:
So why is this okay and the other place wasn’t?
The tiny old Grandma just stood there, knowing that I wouldn’t understand. The friendly lady smiled: “Grandma here is apparently having some tough times with the head of the Buddhist department, so she doesn’t want to get into trouble by having you sleep in their temple. It’s cool with the Taoists though, they’re friends!”
Just a bit later a very old guy with a very long beard appeared: the master of the Tao.
He looked at my stuff on the floor, right there in front of his shrine: “you can’t sleep here like that!” he said, and then he smiled: “you might to get a cold!”
Then he went out, got some blankets and quickly improvised a bed for me.
A bed under the eyes of the twenty-seven gods.