I live in Taiwan, an island off the coast of mainland China where many people subscribe to ancient Chinese culture including Buddhism, Confucianism, and the like. It’s a land of scooters. So many here like gnats in a swamp. I ride a big motorcycle, and people turn their heads at the sound of a rumbling engine.
It’s Chinese New Year, so everyone’s talking a few days off to travel to see friends and family – kind of the equivalent to Christmas in other lands.
I was out riding around today on my V-Star. Had a great ride, but was parched as a warm front came in and made everything hot. So I stopped in to a Starbucks to get a cold matcha tea.
A Buddhist nun approached me, sort of, and inspected me from a distance. She was feigning to be looking at the stuff for sale on the shelves she was pretending to be looking at. But sure enough I could see her looking at me through the shelves. I looked back at her with nothing in my mind, not offended at her inspection. I wanted to see her, and see what she intended.
At first I saw she was afraid. Perhaps she had never met a foreigner before. Perhaps she felt her interaction as a chaste woman with a foreign man was inappropriate. Let alone a man in biker clothing – supposedly the stereotypical “bad-ass”. So…
I just smiled at her and wished her “新年快樂” – “Happy Chinese New Year”.
She jumped a little at my exclamation, but regained her composure a moment later. She smiled and returned the gesture. We chatted a little while, with her saying she was in town to visit relatives.
In the end all fear is dispelled, and LOVE is all that remains.
Love is the only worthy endeavor.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
(Year of the dog, but here is pictured a bad ass pussy-cat).