Lately I have been doing a lot of “Sunday driving.” That is whenever I go anywhere for an errand I decide to wander aimlessly…. for miles… in any direction I don’t know. I do this for a lot of reasons. For one I am on the look out for abandoned houses and cheap large acreage properties. For another I am learning my surroundings and exploring places I have never been. I was doing really good as of late, bothering no one as I ambled about. Today however curiosity tried to kill the cat again.
Just to let you know Sunday driving can be deadly. My worst story is actually from my trip across the US. At some point in Nevada, or Utah, or one of those crazy desert states, our GPS decided to kill us. It wound us through the desert on a long “primitive” road that must have stretched for 40 miles into the middle of nowhere. The only hint of humans we saw the entire time was a large oil rig surrounded by a handful of very pissed Native Americans who were probably wondering who these damn white people were. We didn’t stop and ask for directions. They looked like they might be armed…
Today was almost as cringe worthy. I drove by a couple white stone lions perched next to the road. I wondered what they were so I turned off thinking it was maybe a cemetery. And that’s when I found myself driving up to a Buddhist temple… Ever have the thought, “And how did I get here exactly?” go through your head? I do a lot and I do mean a lot. Sometimes it’s when I find myself in a stranger’s apartment with a friend gluing down my eyebrows. Other times, like today, it’s just because I drove into a different realm just down the street from where I live!
My mother was with me. She saw the beautiful stone gardens and wanted to get out to look…. So I parked, looked shiftily up at the temple itself and watched for people. There was no one, thank God, or Buddha. So she walked up to the statuaries. By now a whole ton of people suddenly appeared, mostly laughing Asian women. I clicked a few photos as I was walking, pretending not to snap photos, because I don’t know the rules of this place. I was super curious – what’s up with the giant bell? And the gardens? And the temple? Do people come here all day or was this a service of some sort? So many questions, unanswered, because I didn’t have the balls to go into the temple and ask. Partially because I didn’t want to be the blundering white person again and partially because… well if I am honest my mother is the most embarrassing person on the planet. It’s funny, as a teenager I didn’t notice this much, but as an adult I am constantly face palming and pretending we don’t have a shockingly similar appearance. Today she was asking me to read the “Chinese.” I told all Asians aren’t Chinese. “I know that!” Did I mention she’s also loud? (PS this in no way means I don’t absolutely love my mom, I do, it’s just I like to do so quietly.)
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