02 February 2015

Temple time at Yau Ma Tei

metro ticket machine

After Mickie D's we went back underground to catch the metro to our next destinations.  Before descending down the high speed escalator, AlphaPoppa was approached by a sneaky looking guys who flashed him an iPhone and whispered to him "iPhone? iPhone?"  AlphaPoppa declined and as soon as he was out of sight was both cracked up.  The funny part was that each day since we'd been in Hong Kong "creepy" men have been approaching him trying to sell him iPhones.  Each time him saying no.  This absolutely reminded me of the gypsies that constantly approached him begging in Germany.  He would always be kind enough to spare them some change (Euros!!!) so I tease him that they'd spread the word to the other gypsies to make sure they asked him for money.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity of teasing him about the iPhone guys in Hong Kong, most likely trying to sell him stolen merchandise.

After one or two stopped we were at Yau Ma Tei. I had no idea what to expect all I knew is that there was a Buddhist temple a short walk from the metro station.  After about half a block we saw a basketball court occupied by a couple of teams hooping it up.  I wanted to stay and watch them for a while but I was out voted by the others to keep going.  I was really interested in seeing how well they played.  I'd hear on more than one occasion that basketball had become a very popular sport in China and I was hoping to see the relatively new fans practice their moves.

Across the street up a long staircase was a meditation garden.  We decided to go up there since it seem temple related.  The garden had benches, a pond, and structures, it felt like a stereotypical peaceful Zen garden, it felt my mom's asia garden in Florida.  It was peaceful and calm.  The kids did a great job at not disturbing the Zen vibe.  They sat on a few benched and quietly stared into the lake in hopes of seeing a big fat fish or a hoping frog.  Even though we didn't see either they seemed cool with the meditation garden.  Dude must have felt his creative photographic juices flowing because he also wanted to take lots of pictures, especially of the "rules" posted.  As I type this I realize that I should find his pictures to share with you all.  Life from the perspective of a 5 year old is always eye-opening and interesting.  After getting our peacefule mediation on we decided to walk around the block in hopes that a temple was attached to the back end of the area.  We were in luck.

Dude was really into this whole temple thing.  He wanted to see where the chanting was coming from, who was doing it, and why.  I had to keep up with him as he moved from each door entrance poking in his head to see what was going on.  Every now and then he'd whisper me a question.  He enjoyed just standing there and watching people bow, kneel, chant.  I watched him soak in and experienced the burning incense, the ritualistic movements of the monks, and the  waving prayer flags.  He was so respectful and quiet.  He's such a special little guy and definitely showed great maturity and age appropriate intellectual curiosity.  Watching him  and Zane experience the world have enhanced my once solo travel world.  They keep me free-spirited and grounded in their love all at the same time and for that I am forever grateful.

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