Daoism and me…

Either I am fat or my tissues are degenerating faster than anticipated.

I can no longer stand on my feet for long.
“Can’t take my weight” as they put it. They, as in fat or old people.
So, I got to be either.

I know when it’s gonna rain.
And boy did it pour Persians and Dachshunds this weekend.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

I thought he had left.
He, as in, the 9 Emperor God that brings the rain. A myth? Who knows?
But after ‘camping’ around some teow chew opera troop for 2 consecutive weekends, I know that much. Plus, it’s his death anniversary, not birthday, they are worshipping. He, as in, the 9 Emperor God. They, as in, the daoist people.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve always said I am a daoist.
I like the hairdo of the men – the knotted bun that sits right on top of their heads, covered with a tiny piece of cloth, tied with a rope or occassionally adorned with a gold string and bead. Some how I associate it with modern-day eunuch. Not that I’ve met or seen a traditional eunuch. Or modern day eunuch for that matter. Who knows? My brain is wired slightly weird.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve always said I am a daoist.
I like the bamboo ‘sticks’ in the bamboo holder. The one that I shake . shake . shake . till the odd one falls. I present it to some grouchy lady behind the desk with deep lines running across her face. Lines that were there from years of frowning, and not because of age itself. She hands me a little piece of paper that prophecises my future.
I can’t read it of course. Just horizontal and vertical lines, with occasional dots here and there.
I won’t understand a word she says of course. I’ll be able to tell the dialect only.
So I give her a respectful nod, a half smile (not sure if a full hearty smile is allowed in a shrine, so better be safe) and drop my 5 ringgits into the slit on the table top.
Then dutifully I date and write the location of the shirne on the little piece of paper and put them in the little drawer when I return for safe keeping. Just in case.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve always said I am a daoist.
I love incense. Coils. Cone. Long sticks. Short sticks. Slender sticks. Thick sticks – as large as my thighs (but lets not go into diameter or circumference estimates here please … it’s my thighs!!! )
I once bought 800 ringgits worth of insence from Chatuchak (Ja.tu.jak) Market in Bangkok, Thailand. It filled a third of my attic space. It took me 5 years to consume them. It’s gone now. But I have been tersely banned from incense. I am possibly the only person in the entire whole wide world banned from incense.

.Photo © Penelope Gan – All Rights Reserved

I was banned from incense due to gross possession of them.
Not because I nearly burnt a temple down with incense.
Chinese New Year. Jalan Tukang, Kajang.

See, if just wouldn’t go ‘off’. The flames.
It went ‘off’. I did my ‘thing’. By the time I had stuck 3 sticks x 2 altars, it went ablaze … like crazy. All 36 sticks. I waved the 36 sticks of flaming incense with great force and velocity some 5 to 6 times to get it back to 36 sticks with tiny smouldering tips. Did my ‘thing’ again. In less than a minute the damn 33 sticks burst into a ball of fire … and within a minute, 12 inches of length was drastically reduced to a dangerous 4 inches height of an uncontrollable torch of sticks.

I yelled “HELP!”
I was ignored.
They were all doing their thing. Deep concentration is needed I guess when one consults the Gods.

I said “HELP! Somebody help me!”
More deliberate avoidance on their part. I know this for sure coz by that time I was running around waving this ball of fire above my head like a lunatic.

In great desperation I yelled, “@#$%”
“The temple is going to burn down and it does NOT HAVE INSURANCE!”

Ahhh… that did the trick.
Four men came rushing … I wonder to this day what’s their profession.
Insurance Agents? Financial Planners? Bankers? Risk Assessors? Fire men?
Who knows?

My Ralph Lauren khakis has 4 huge holes in them.
The little paper’s prophecy for that year wasn’t good. The Gods must have been raving mad at me…
I am no longer a daoist.
Wait a minute. I never was a daoist.


5 thoughts on “Daoism and me…

  1. u know what dao means …in thai? DAO. incidentally, those girls i know whose nickname are DAOs are usually quite attractive. do u still know what it means? not really that relevant to your post….'star'. lol.btw, how come 4 holes only, out of the 36 sticks?…very good mastery of joss-sticks ah..lol.

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