Port of Spain, Trinidad
The Special Stone
When you are a monk, people offer you gifts. While in Montreal recently, I was given one. On the outside of the plastic pocket it read, “Akhavan—Natural Volcanic Pumice Stone.” Inside the clear plastic was a handsome, pitch-black pumice for scraping off dry, dead skin from the bottom of the feet.
How thoughtful and unique a gift!
At airport customs, it appeared somewhat irregular on the screen. “Is this yours?” the officer asked, segregating my orange-coloured piece of baggage from the other, less eye-catching ones owned by passengers. He inspected it, approved it and I was on my way to Trinidad.
In Port of Spain, at customs, I received a bit of trouble again. My filled-out form was complete, but they wanted a contact number where I would be staying in the country. The directory book, a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publication which I carried, did not include a phone number for the Longdenville temple. To use the slang, “I was skunked.”
The female official was quite formal about it. Straight-faced, she demanded “a contact.”
“We can look it up. Do you have a phone directory? God’s my contact.”
“We don’t have one. Ask an agent in the airport. Next….”
Fortunately a nice man, an official, looked up the number on his phone and I breezed through. There at the arrivals was my dear friend, Agnidev, the well-known bhajan singer. It was good to see him. It was good to get my feet on the ground. I can’t wait to use my pumice stone.
May the Source be with you!