Quandary

Special Focus - - Contents - Yi Zhong­tian

While I was in Sichuan Prov­ince, I once came across a man sigh­ing earnestly as he prayed to the Wen­chang Bod­hisattva. Then, out of the blue, he sighed, and said in rus­tic Sichuanese, “I don’t know if I’m pray­ing right.”

I un­der­stand the Sichuan di­alect so I asked him, “What are you pray­ing for?”

“My kid is go­ing to take part in the Col­lege En­trance Exam. I’m pray­ing that the Wen­chang Bod­hisattva helps him get a high score.” He said.

“Good call, the Wen­chang Bod­hisattva is the god in charge of the Col­lege En­trance Exam.” I told him.

“No, no! You don’t get it. My kid is test­ing to get into Stan­ford, he has to pass the English part of the test with fly­ing col­ors, or else, he’s sunk! But I don’t know if the Wen­chang Bod­hisattva un­der­stands English. If not, how can he help my kid pass?”

I sug­gested, “You’d bet­ter go pray to the Vir­gin Mary then. Her English is pretty good.”

But he just sat there con­flicted, sighed again and said in his Sichuanese twang, “I know, I know, but the Vir­gin Mary can’t un­der­stand Sichuanese!”

(From Blog­ger World, Is­sue 25, 2016. Trans­la­tion: Chase Coul­son)

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