Lucy was in charge of our itinerary and navigation today. Which is just as well as I lost my laminated Hong Kong/MTR map. It’s been my comfort blanket, I just can’t get used to relying entirely on google maps or my own navigations skills. Just having it in my bag gives me confidence, and now it’s gone. The laminate gave it an air of authority, indestructability. Two qualities I hope are rubbing off on me. Perhaps it’s a sign I can do fine without my comfort blanket now. Let’s see.
There are some places that have me in a frenzy within moments of entering. Ikea for one. A sense of overwhelm and an inner cry of ‘Get me out of here!’. And there are places where it feels, regardless of the number of people, like I’m standing tall and strong, poised between heaven and earth. Where I’m breathing in great lungfuls of air, deep, slow, restorative ‘make me live longer’ breaths. The beaches in St Ives are such a place. And today, Chi Lin, with its beautiful courtyards, waterfalls, ponds, lily pads and flowers, bonsais, rocks and golden statues. Apparently the layout of the Nunnery is characterised by the open space and harmony between Heaven and Earth. A Buddhist monastery/nunnery is metaphorically described as a forest, cong in Chinese, which comes from the Sanskrit word Sangha meaning a large gathering of monks and nuns. Together they resemble trees growing like a forest. So today, maybe I was a tree, linking heaven and earth in Chi Lin. It certainly felt like it. I may be mapless but I felt rooted and strong. A day I will treasure for a very long time.
Lucy is on a street food trail. So after Chi Lin we headed to busy Sham Shui Po to find Michelin starred Cheung Fun. Lucy had to queue but it was worth it. Hard to describe their taste or texture. Rice rolls in a peanut/plum/hoisin sauce is all I can come up with. Like pasta but not. Here’s some pictures. Lucy did good.