The Imposter

April 30 cont...

The Temple that Hiroki San booked me into was just like you see in pictures. I felt a little intimidated and like an intruder but if, upon interrogation, I had to admit to only using meditation to get some decent sleep, I didn't think I could run very far with my pack so I made myself walk through the gate.

A few monks met me at the door and if you could picture the worst Laurel and Hardy cliched comic skit titled What Not To Do When Entering A Temple, you could imagine what happened in the next 15 minutes. How I managed to take my shoes off, put on the slip-ons, check in and get shown to my room without having to pay a ¥75,000 bond will remain a secret to the Deities that were on duty that night and felt sorry for me .

The feeling of relief to be in a room, where I could like down flat for the first time since I left New Zealand, was overwhelming. I never thought I would be so happy to feel like the Christmas wrapping my Mother always meticulously flattened out to recycle.
I didn't care that I couldn't perceive any obvious formation that could be manifested into a bed and lay down immediately on the Tatami mats until a Monk told me it was time for my dinner.

I was shown to another room exactly the same as mine four doors down. Even though Kazu and Chiharu's restaurants are the reason I don't need food in my cupboard at home, I still found the three little tray/tables with lots of little bowls of indefinable food a mystery.
There was also a burner made of a little rock that was on fire with a metal net bowl on top of it, lined with some kind of paper and full of more food.
When I got there it was starting to boil but I didn't know how to turn the rock off. I had read too many stories of Temples burning down regularly and, still smarting from my check-in fiasco, I felt sure the Deities would have split by now in anticipation of a busy night ahead.

I heard someone outside and jumped up quickly to see a Monk showing a young couple to their room next door. I intimated that I needed his help.
A minute later he came in and merely blew on the stone and the fire went out. Acting as if that's what all the Monks did for me at the hundreds of other Temples I had stayed at, I moved straight on to asking him what everything was.

Most of the contents of the broth that had been cooking were different varieties of fungi. In the other bowls were shredded seaweed, tofu, pickled vege's, rice, and orange and some cold battered deep fried slices (tempura) of green pepper, pumpkin and eggplant and a soup.

I tried to eat, or at least try, everything but I have never been able to eat Fungi and couldn't even look at the soup.
The soup had a substance that was too much like what my brother used to call Crab Snot when we were kids - a slimy green felt moss that grew on the concrete corrosion barriers by the sea. Great for running and skidding along in bare feet as children but dubious to ingest orally.

I finished with two cups of green tea, dialed the Monk to say I was finished and went back to my room.

When I got there, a futon mattress had been laid on the floor which had a pillow and snug looking duvet on it.

First I put my flat cellphone on to charge then I evaluated my money situation.

I had never bragged about being a genius, however, even I could calculate that if I hadn't already paid for the return trip, I would've been sitting on the bumper of the cable car to get back down the mountain.

I started to feel a bit sick but kept my mind distracted the best way a Virgo knows how, by tidying up three days of hectic travel mess.

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