The fellow objected, "Hey, I'm an aboriginal and you're doing that in my country?"
It was my pranams (hands folded together) that he didn't like. I had walked by the trainway station-turned-liquor store on Yonge St. when the fellow stood by asking for change. I held up hands in the pranam gesture when he blurted out the remark. Now I could have responded with a "Listen, everyone's an immigrant here. You're ancestors may have came 10,000 years ago through the Berring Strait and my parents come from Holland after WWII, but we are all a result of migration." Of course, I dind't want to go there and say that. It's important to keep your cool - it's a monk's obligation.
Other remarks on this cheery afternoon were more pleasant. "Hey, Buddha! I love yah!" yells a guy across the street at Summerhill Ave. He threw a manly kiss. then a woman by the name of Fiona recognized me, "Well, I haven't seen you for years." I told Fiona that turning a corner at her home has been part of my walking route for years. She didn't know about my three treks across Canada.
"Well, that is amazing. You know you've got my favourite colour on."
I invited her to the temple as she was in the middle of gardening when she first spotted my saffron clad robes. She's considering the invite for the future.
I was met by many smiles on this day. I don't know why it was so special. The weather has been sombre, overcast for days, but somehow through the mystery of Krishna the bulk of pedestrians, gardeners and shoppers were just awesome.