Kiyomizudera: Saved by the rain

“After all we are in Kiyomizudera, the temple of pure water.  In a way, this torrential rain could not be more appropriate.”

The giant South African in my group did not seem impressed by my improvised bullshit.  Morale was in danger.  I called upon the last chapter in the Book of Bullshit:  History Mystory.

“This temple was built without using nails.”

This nugget was delivered with a drumroll, as if up until then, it was the nails that had been boring everyone to tears at temples; it was the bloody nails that had been utterly spoiling their enjoyment.

“In the olden days, people used to leap off the temple`s 13 metre high platform.  They believed that if they survived the fall, their wish would come true.”  (This rehearsed spiel tests their interest levels.  If I look up and see blank faces after it,  I know for certain nobody listens to me).  I look up.  Only a third of the group still appears to be breathing.

“So anyway, last night I went out and necked 3 bottles of shochu and ended up sleeping with a…….Ah hah, now you`re listening.  So anyway, the fascinating thing about nails is that………”

Rain had stopped our walking tour.  Now I was drowning in tidal waves of my own bullshit. In a replica of last summer, I had brought a group to Kiyomizu without checking the forecast, and paid the price with a biblical downpour.  Anyone can make a mistake, but only tour leaders repeat the same mistake – a quote lifted from my book on Confucius.

Above our heads the grey sky rumbled ferociously and ominously, as if it had missed both breakfast and lunch and was searching for a scapegoat.  Lightning strikes lit up the city centre.

The rain imprisoned everybody inside.  The temple grounds were transformed from the usual procession of tourists into a stage.  Under the thatched eaves, Chinese and Korean tourists, squealing in excitement, wriggled for viewing space.  Screaming schoolkids, risking a soaking, rushed outside to make a peace sign and pose for a photo while the drain directed the deluge onto green maple leaves beneath our feet.

The South African giant loped over and stood next to me.

“This is actually quite nice – being able to stop and take it all in.”

He accepted the rain as a blessing, not a curse.  I wanted to kiss him, but couldn`t – he`s quite tall.

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3 Responses to Kiyomizudera: Saved by the rain

  1. Rurousha says:

    You have a South African in your group? It’s very easy to communicate with a South African. You only need two words. Anything that’s negative is “kak” (crap); anything that’s positive is “lekker” (nice, great, sugoi, oishii, etc). Try it. 🙂

    • tomointokyo says:

      Sadly the 2 of them left this morning. Hope it wasn`t anything I said – or did. Shame as I would have liked to try the words out.
      They were at the end of a 6 month round-the-world trip. The food in South America was generally kak but Japan was lekker. All experiences in between were hectic. Are all South Africans hectic?

      • Rurousha says:

        Are all South Africans hectic? Oh, that’s easy to answer. Yes.

        You’ve clearly mastered the use of kak and lekker. Next step: if something is kak lekker, it means it’s really very lekker; it something is lekker kak, it means it’s really very kak.

        PS: Don’t worry. If they were displeased with you, they would’ve kakked all over you. 😉

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