A couple of weeks ago, I stopped for a moment to admire the temple detail and photograph the temple décor and all of a sudden…
Bang, bang, bang, bang….!!
I covered my ears in an attempt to drown out the blasting sound of the fireworks being launched a mere meter away from me. My vision was then blurred by the cloud of smoke lifting from the sudden eruption of firecrackers beside me. I looked around and there I was, right in the middle of a temple procession honoring Matzu. As the rain began to pour, men with God costumes danced and swayed around me, drums pounded behind me, and I decided to just go with the flow and soak up the energy, atmosphere, and chaos surrounding me.
Yes, I did stick out like a sore thumb. Not only did I look different, but my clothes shouted to the spectators that I didn’t belong. Plus I didn’t have any purpose: no drum to beat, no flag to wave, no sign to hold. But, I was surrounded with a bunch of welcoming smiles which made me feel comfortable and gave me the courage to soak up and enjoy this rare experience.
As I walked, I eventually navigated my way through the Gods and the flags and found my husband on the side smiling and admiring my clever maneuver moves. I have to admit that this wasn’t the first time I witnessed a temple celebration but it was the first time I ‘accidentally’ participated in one. As I snap some photos on the sideline, I was greeted with smiles and many participants stopped to pose for me. They all made me feel welcome.
Then, the possession came to a halt because of a red light. There was huge torrential downpour so the ‘Gods’ decided to seek shelter from the rain under a nearby walkway where I was. The God costumes were carefully placed on a neatly laid cloth to give the men a break. I had the opportunity to talk to some of them. Most of the conversation surrounded me: where I was from, my blue eyes, my Chinese ability, etc.
And as the procession continued and could be only seen in a far off distance, I couldn’t help but remember what I always tell myself ‘Any situation can turn into an awesome experience as long as you approach it with a positive attitude and smile.’
And I did smile….!!!
How about you? Did you ever ‘accidentally’ experience something rare and unique like this?
Linking up with My Travel Monkey for #MondayEscapes