Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 110. Buddha is smiling

In 2006 when preparing for a trip to Hong Kong in addition to the time required for business, I planned two more days for visiting sights of Hong Kong. Of course, that was not enough. Though I reasonably assumed that that was my first and not the last trip to Hong Kong, and Natasha and I would take our time to visit all sights. Now I want to tell you about our visit to a statue of Buddha on the top of the mountain on the island Lantau.

When at the hotel we had asked about everything concerning the man-made miracle. We had been told about 268 steps leading to Buddha and how to get to the statue from the hotel "Peninsula", where we were staying that time. We had been told that we had to go by a red taxi to the final stop of a cableway, and from there continue in a car of the cableway of by a blue taxi. In Hong Kong red taxies drive around the city, and blue ones - only in the mountains.

Blue taxies' drivers are super pros in driving business; we got evidence of that a bit later. And at the hotel we had also been told that the best way to reach Buddha was by walking. We are not fluent in English, and for the hotel staff it was also not their native language; so perhaps we had misunderstood something. Natalek and I took a taxi from the hotel, and while looking out of windows agreed that if it was better to walk, then we would also walk. It was said was done! The taxi took us to the final point, where it was possible to drive to, and the driver was trying to explain to us how to get to Buddha from there, but we even did not let him open his mouth. We announced that we would walk from there. The driver was surprised, and left without saying anything. And we inspired and with some inexplicable enthusiasm started finding out how to get to Buddha on foot. We were looked at with suspicion. They tried to explain to us that that was very far away, and some took us for insane. Gradually our enthusiasm was vanishing, and the rain started drizzling therewith. So Natasha and I made up our minds to drive to Buddha by taxi for that time, but the next time... we would walk for sure. We were already driving in a blue taxi, when the rain poured as it is called "rain like hell". Even the driver asked us: "Maybe we should go back?". By the way, he explained to us that to go on foot and without any stop to Buddha one should go up the stairs. It was really good that we took a taxi, so we decided to go to the final stop and then we would see. Yes, Blue taxies' drivers are aces.

We were not crawling, but driving pretty fast along the narrow and serpentine road in the shower wall. The very moment we drove to a Po Lin monastery, the rain stopped as if at the command. Natasha and I decided that that was a miracle, and that was God's will that we visited the statue, as soon as we came.

We walked to Buddha two hundred and sixty eight steps up without any stops, as it was required. If somebody believes that it is not a big deal, just some two hundred and sixty eight steps, he is mistaken. It is hard, very hard, but possible. Somewhere after the first third my feet became leaden, but I continued walking up. I could not stop, Natasha was walking by my side, and as she told me later, she felt the same. Tired, but proud and happy, we walked up to Buddha. We walked around the statue along the walking area. We also came inside, bought souvenirs, donated for the temple and were about to leave downhill. However, when at the top Natasha regretted that even though the rain stopped, thick fog did not allow us to see Buddha's face. You would not believe, I had goose bumps, when during the conversation Natasha and I were looking at Buddha, the fog as if moved apart, and we clearly saw Buddha's face, and Buddha smiled to us.

I was standing and staring dumb-founded. I do not know for how long that lasted, a second, a minute, or maybe longer. Then the fog moved back and hid Buddha. Natasha was faster than me with the question: "Have you seen that? ". No matter what they say, but I had worked in psychotherapy for twenty five years and I clearly remember that there are no collective hallucinations. Though, I was not thinking about that at the moment. Natasha and I concluded for ourselves, that that was the miracle for us, that we were leading godly way of life. We thanked Buddha and swore that every time we came to Hong Kong we would visit Buddha to bow and thank him for that miracle.

And that that was really the miracle we got convinced when we went down to the foot of the stairs, took a blue taxi, and then saw that the rain started pouring again. Natasha and I were both happy. We were keeping silence thinking about our own things, though later in a conversation we realized that we were thinking in a similar way.

By the way, after that, every time we are in Hong Kong, we obligatory visit Buddha. As Buddha is always happy and smiles to us. Well at least it seems that way.

6 May, 2012

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #213101901208

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content