Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kandy, Sri Lanka and my new friend!!

Our hotel was situated right the way over from the Kandy Lake and we spent many hours on the balcony enjoying the views it afforded us. The Lake was built in 1807 by the Sri Lankan King. It is steeped in stories and history.

 The lake is central to the life of Sri Lankans and is a wonderful place for a long walk as the trees surrounding the lake provide much needed shade.
It is home to a variety of birds i.e. ducks, cormorants, egrets, storks and pelicans.

The lake is filled with fish and they are fed by the public, but no fishing is permitted!!
 The far side of the lake is home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic  and the Queen's bath is situated partly in the waters of the lake.

Back at the hotel Warren was relaxing on the balcony when this "monk" started chatting to him. When I got back from my walk around the lake, he suggested I chat to the Monk but felt a little confused as the monk seemed to have an identity crisis. It turned out that the Monk is a Nun from Bangkok and spends several hours a day at the Temple of the Tooth. She referred to herself as a "puccini" and since then I have found out she meant Bhikkuni which is a fully ordained Buddhist Nun.

Cheng is quite a character. Within a very short while she shared with me as to how she became a Bhikkuni. She was born into a very successful Chinese family in Bangkok. Her family are well connected and have high standing in society. Cheng was rejected by her father and written out of the family estate. She then went onto to build up her own import and export business and traveled all over the world. While the cats away the mice do play and she found out that her husband had been unfaithful and had fathered a child by another woman. Cheng says she had a total breakdown, she describes it as "Losing her mind". This was the turning point in her life. She begged her Lord Buddha to give her back her mind and in turn she would serve him. Thus we have Cheng, the Bhikkuni.

Cheng says she has her own temple 60k's out of Bangkok, and anytime any of us or our family and friends want a bed and a meal, she would love us to visit her at her own temple!

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