sceptical ampulets getting all body-arty at the Stamford Art Centre on Waterloo St.
We took last Friday off work with plans to have no plans. But Ma J's acupuncture session in the city made us feel guilty for not having gone to visit her the whole week, so we trooped down to be with her instead and stumbled into the busy street of hope.
Well, the truth is that we were also feeling doubtful about this whole acupuncture business. We both had a mental image of a dried-up old Chinese man smelling of axe oil, wearing a black gong fu get up and waiting for Ma J in his dark cockcroachy room where there are dusty bottles of pickled lizards and snakes in some urine-coloured fluid.
Of course, once there, we were relieved to find a gentle professional TCM practitioner from He Nan and his clean, modest clinic, albeit located in a dark corridor of this HDB block just across from the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple at Waterloo Street. Next to this temple for the Goddess of mercy is the Hindu Sri Krisnan temple. Devotees at the one appeared to also offer incense at the other - definitely no religiously-motivated antagonism here! Beggars and vendors hawking incense and lotus flowers dot this busy pedestrian street, in front of shop windows with buddhist amulets, "healing" crystals and other assorted luck/health/properity-giving objects. How inappropriate that a street appearing to proffer hope should be named instead after a battle!
Top Lady Luck outside the Kwan Im Temple Middle Outside the Sri Krishnan Temple Bottom: Outside the St Joseph Church just round the corner at the adjacent Victoria St. All photos by J
J's siblings have avoided accompanying Ma and Pa J to the acupuncturist thus far. This is because not only had her doctor at the hospital remained non-committal about acupuncture, she had instead only issued Pa J the warning to "avoid the vital points". I guess therefore no one wanted to volunteer to share Pa J's decision (and responsibility) to finally send Ma J to an acupuncturist regardless.
J tried to explain Pa J's decision to his sister this way - "If your spouse was ill, wouldn't you try anything that has the slightest chance to make him/her better? How can you live thinking that there is this one possible cure that you did not try?"
Hope - whether false, misguided or well-placed - is tenacious, even if in small doses.