23. Street Treats in the land of Yodofu (Arashiyama, Kyoto)--KathrynAfter a 30 minute train ride West, away from the urban center on the Randen line, we strolled a long lane of temples and bamboo, taking pictures and admiring the leaves.
I actually spent a good part of our first hour in Arashyama recovering from a strange incident in which a monk, behatted and hunched to receive alms, got totally out of line and spanked me on the backside with his prayer stick. There we were on a sidewalk. He was either a young monk with thick glasses or a halloween impersonator. I still can't tell. It started as a prayer with some chanting and a light tap on my shoulders with his elaborate wand. And then, moving southward, at the end, thwack!. I'd been spanked!!!
I couldn't believe it. I couldn't close my mouth for the next hour. Could that possibly be part of the Zen tradition? Would some Zen questions now be asked, or answered? Walking into Todaiji, mouth agape, I couldn't see the forest or the trees. However, I soothed myself on the lane of sweet green treats that lead us up into the bamboo with tea and snacks, and finally got distracted by the beauty of it all.
"Wait, these are actually really good!"
These are my two new friends.
Ken says Geisha don't ride the bus.