Getting to the Tibetan Temple in the rising morning heat was quite easy. There was a small Sari Sari store outside and some shelter in the form of some palm tree coverings. Something I needed, as I am not a fan of humidity.
I looked at the large red gates that were firmly closed in front of the Tibetan tower. Behind them and inside the temple I could see a man busy sweeping away. There was life.
Patience is a virtue in Travel
Half a bottle of water later and I ran the bell beside the large red gates and waited. And, waited. The heat continued to pound down as I wondered why the loud bell was being ignored.
I noticed the sign beside the gate. “Tibetan Temple of Davao Inc”. I had a feeling the Chinese were the ones who’d built the place. Hence the “Inc“.
Okay, I am not very patient today:
Finally with the heat getting to me I stepped over and poked my hand through the railings and gave the bell one more long push and waved up at the man still sweeping …
Success, he waved back. Scuttled down the steps and opened the gate with a smile. Physical waving works well here. Maybe he was deaf.
No silly shoe removal here
We walked up the steps and into the tower. Here I looked at the man’s feet, and then pointed to my shoes.
The caretaker shook his head and brushed aside the notion of having to remove my shoes. I liked the place that bit more already!
A self tour of the temple
I ambled up the spiral staircase to the second floor, and then to the third. Statues of Buddha staring at me as I ascended to the top.
It was a pleasant place. Nothing mind blowing, aside from the fact that it was in Davao city. I stood up on one of the wine colored chairs under a window to see if I could get a glimpse of Davao’s skyline.
From one window I could. But as I tried to open another the metal frame groaned. I thought of the nice caretaker and didn’t push my luck. The Davao skyline could stay behind the frame.
Outside I visited the main prayer hall that had several scrolls on display and sat down in the shade. It was good to see the second temple in Davao. Nothing spectacular. But then again visiting them was worth it for the simple fact that not many people do.
Time to make my own way
I looked at my map and wondered where to next? The fruit market maybe. Downtown Davao? I’d seen it all.
“What do you do in a city when you have seen everything?”
I even thought about going to SM mall and taking photos of it just to annoy them and their idiotic policy of not taking photos of it.
It must irk them terribly to know that even in the Philippines they can’t do a thing about it if you take a photo of their building from a public road.
How to shock a tourist
On my way back to the guest house I ran into a young American and his local girlfriend who were waiting for the afternoon rain to stop.
We exchanged hello’s and I asked if they were going to see anything around Davao of interest.
The Eagle sanctuary, an island and a crocodile farm was their itinerary. They then asked the same of me.
I thought briefly for a fleeting moment that this might be the first time outside of El Nido that a tourist might actually meet up with me to see some places. But alas, I was already too far gone in my exploration.
And, I made mention of my other destination within the city.
How to scare someone off in The Philippines
“I’m thinking of going to take some photos at the fishing village near here.”
“The fishing village. Near the dock area?”
The receptionist of our guest house chipped in, “You go the American Village?”
“No!” I dismissed her attempt at saying I wanted to visit an expat housing estate. ” I’m going to the dock area … where locals fish… By Magsaysay?”
“No!” gasped the receptionist. “Is the squatter area. Dangerous.”
The guy’s girlfriend then added a conclusive statement to her partner. “He’s going to the slums I told you about.”
The young mans eyes widen as he looked at me in confusion. “You seriously want to go there?”
It was enough to make me want to never have set eyes on the man nor any tourist again.
When you know you’ve gone too far:
It was only later in bed listening to the heavy night rains beat down did the conversation, and hindsight, roll over me like a ominous cloud.
I’ve been here a long time. I’ve purposely gone out of my way to push the boundaries of social integration when trying to live in another country. And, failed. At least to the extent of not attaining my original goal.
However, now more shockingly, I find myself recoiling at socializing with foreigners!
Have I pushed my own boundaries in this unexplored territory of psyche too far …
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