Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Slush and a Fresh Cab Driver

Montreal, Quebec

Yves Prescott is a hotbed of information about native culture, being part Mohawk. We've been friends for years, ever since shortly after I became a monk in the 70's. Recently he's become a wealth of info about African history, a result of currently working in an African art gallery. But today we bounced to the history of an earlier Montreal in the area just east of Centre-Ville, where the Poles and Anglophones had settled. We trudged through streets of slush, primarily Ste. Catherine's admiring an architecture of yesteryear. The facades and turrets of certain edifices reflect a French influence. It's nice to see the style of past tastes. It certainly puts modern attempts to shame.

Yves and I had to detour numerous times the newly formed ponds of slush at street junctures. Never is there a dull moment in the matter of trekking. It takes expertize to keep dry feet in such conditions.

Our dry-foot walk culminated with a chanting session at Pie IX Boulevard temple, then a talk I conducted from the Gita. As we completed a well participated discussion, a woman came to me. I won't mention her name as she would appreciate the privacy. She told me she enjoyed her recent trip to India except for near the end. She had a not-so-nice experience with a cab driver.

Because of television, movie and internet portrayal of western women as loose, men of the east often misunderstand. This rather tall and powerful man stood outside her door of the cab as she descended the vehicle. He expressed to her demanding more than just the cab fare. The woman who is well groomed and has 20 years of martial arts training make a plea to Krishna for help. With her hand she gave him an ever-so-light push (as she described it) and this sent him landing several metres away. He was flat on the ground. She was startled, so was he and several witnesses as he struggled to his feet.

"Where did all that power come from?" people wondered.

What was most amazing about the narrative was just a short true tale about self-defense but the victim's humble spirit behind her telling.

"Did I do the right thing?" she asked.

"You sure did, but in the future do travel with a companion. There's protection and you can then share talks and experiences together."

3 KM

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