Daydream of the Week: Big Buddha

Big Buddha Hong Kong monkAfter visiting friends in Austin, Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver, my big post-Leaving Las Vegas trip was to Asia. While I was there, my youngest brother very nicely agreed to join me on an excursion to the “Big Buddha” (Tian Tan) outside of Hong Kong. The only thing was, he sleeps in and then I lingered way too long over lunch with old friends. When our trip out to Lantau Island, where the Buddha and Po Lin Monastery are located, took a bit longer than we thought, we began to worry that we would miss the whole thing. The lovely subway seemed to barely creak along the later it got, as dusk (closing time) seemed to rapidly creep in. The ride up the mountain is stunning, as you float in cable cars that offer spectacular views in all directions. The Big Buddha is enormous, and everyone inside our car (my brother and I were the only non-French speakers) started pointed and shrieking when we turned a corner and spotted it for the first time. When we arrived, we were in a bit of a hurry. The sun was already setting, and I was determined to get some good photos before everything shut down. So we practically ran towards the Big Buddha, passing all shops, statues, and tourists along the way. Looking up at the steep final staircase, I lurched. Tripping on stairs happens to be a phobia of mine, and these were no joke. Climbing as fast as we could, I at one point glanced over at the other side. As I was heaving and out of shape, plus staring straight down to make sure I wouldn’t fall, I couldn’t help but notice a monk practically running down the stairs without even looking. His concentration? Texting on his cell phone, of course.

With one hand.