Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Well, that's different #6 : Blessing in disguise?

Today being tomb sweeping day we are not at school. Instead I have been for a day out. I have a private student who has been asking me for over a year to go out and visit his family who live in one of the smaller provincial villages. So today I agreed. It was a nice trip. I met both his sets of grandparents and even though they live in a tiny place that would be a one horse town if only they had a horse they are clearly prosperous as they live in two rather nice houses. We also had a pleasant walk along the river and a couple of visits to temples.
At one of the temple visits I witnessed a most bizarre spectacle.
The old man who seemed to be in charge decided to bless our car. I have seen these blessings carried out before but always on people. Two men carry a wooden relic box around the subject and wave it about above him (or her) while a priest looks on.
The ritual was almost the same for the car. I say almost because it varied in one significant respect. That old man, who had a white beard and no teeth, scurried off and came back with a bottle of the local firewater, an evil concoction called Baijiu.
He proceded to open all the car doors and then circle the vehicle taking swigs from the bottle which he proceded to spit with great force all over the seats, the dashboard and anything else that he could reach. When he had finished, satisfied with a good job, he took a final gulp, shook everyon'es hands and wandered back up the steps into the temple.
It was, as I say, very bizarre.
And the car stank of alcohol all the way back.