Across Continents

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Smugglers woes

Desperate for sleep, I’d ended up in small Buddhist retreat on the coast south of Sydney. Small, simple room for the night. Ample for a very weary traveller. Besides which, I was just a bit curious. Who exactly were my fellow guests? Pilgrims perhaps? So I’d opted to join at least some of them for dinner in the communal hall. Shared tables and wooden stools. Strictly speaking, I’d no choice if I wanted to eat, for this was a vegetarian establishment, meat not permitted within the grounds. My tinned tuna struck me as a bit of a grey area, but I’d decided to enter into the spirit of things.

Dinner was a surprisingly tasty affair. Textured proteins that you’d easily mistake for meat. And rice I took great delight in eating with chop sticks, something I’d long since mastered back in China. If my fellow diners were impressed with that, less so my efforts at humour. Joking that I really didn’t mind vegetarian food at all. After all, had been good enough for our family rabbit. Before we’d eaten it. Nice with chips. Solemn looks. Glad I hadn’t mentioned the fishy contraband concealed in my room. Time for bed.



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