Now that the anniversary (of the expulsion of He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named from the Autonomous-Region-of-Mountains-and-Monastaries) is over, we can once again visit our neighbors at Nanputuo Temple. They’re not checking I.D.s anymore, either. Yesterday, Jonah and Chris climbed all the way to the top of the mountain behind the temple. To picture the route: take these stone steps and multiply by 1,000. Jonah was ebullient when they returned since he loves panoramic views. Chris went straight to bed.
Frankie doesn’t appreciate the monastery because of the temple beggars, all of whom have missing limbs. Indeed, the other night I made the mistake of hanging some pants to dry in her bedroom. Halfway through the night, she woke up convinced that the pants were a temple beggar. She ended up in our bed, and I am now restricting laundry to the drying porch, lest it come alive and start shaking a wooden bowl. Of course, the beggars are sad and unnerving, but they are professionals, and an established part of temple life. I saw one take his prosthetic leg out of a bag and re-strap it on at the end of the day.