Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Hi guys and gals! I survived butt-fuck Tampin! (as RPMNut so eloquently puts it for every backwater town he names in his blog). Woke up at an ungodly hour on Raya Haji, drove to church with mum and got on a bus. Breakfast was so piping-hot vegetarian noodles and some kuih prepared by the church committee. 2 bus-loads of pilgrims. You see, the Church of St. John Vianney, Tampin was declared as the pilgrimage church of the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese on the occasion of the Year for Priests. The reason is because the patron saint of that church is the Patron Saint of Priests. A real interesting story behind it-- one that shows how genuine love for God and your fellow man can triumph over the lack of intelligence and knowledge. And so, my BEC President decided to use the pilgrimage as part of a BEC gathering.
Anyway, the journey took just under 2 hours. It was quite pleasant (even better if the bus didn't sway so much) and I slept most of the time. Before lunch, we had an hour to kill at the church. After praying, I immediately went around the compound taking pictures. Not very big. Not very stylized architecture. But it made for some good photo opportunities anyway. It still retains its pre-independence flavour. The sun was blazing! Lunch was at Restoran Kam Yin Poh which literally translates to Chinese gold ingots. One could easily mistake it for a joss stick shop! So icky. We booked the whole place! The food was quite disappointing. Only the first dish of herbal chicken soup was nice. A whole chicken (head and all!) cooked in its own juices and herbs. After the unsatisfying lunch, we headed back to the church.
Filler: See the guy on the left? He's one of the three cuties I saw among the crowds. :P
Other pilgrims had began to throng the church. All the parasols and sheds were up and the main church building filled to the brim. We had no choice but to fry outside. Listened to a short explanation of the activities for the day and the significance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (a fancy name for Confession), everyone went about their business of either joining the Penitential Service (that's mass confession for you) or praying the rosary. I quickly joined the queue for the English-speaking priest as the other 9 lines were for the mandarin-speaking group. I finished my confession in 20 minutes I think. My mum had to wait for hours. I had blasted poor KH just an hour before confession. Dunno why I lost my temper. Hehe. Such good timing. :P. I'm bad aren't I?
About an hour later, the Mass started with 10 priests in total. The celebrant was a quirky priest who spoke in Mandarin phonetically with a Hakka twang. It was quite amusing. During the sermon, he recounted St. John Vianney's history with much candour. The priest who nearly did not become a priest. The stone the builders rejected. He described him as soh soh tei (not very bright). And yet, he overcame all odds and became the "shining model of a pastor". There was another talk after that and a rare ritual of general absolution. However, I did not catch what happened in the church as I was cut-off by the heavy rain. The speakers and projector were turned off. I was reading "Dune Messiah" until the priest suddenly came out with a crucifix in hand! I guess that was it!
Food was served soon after. The rain had turned the church grounds into a muddy mess and the "queues" for food was chaotic. Inconsiderate people were blocking the flow of traffic, content to be eating where they stood. A simple meal of rice with curry chicken, vegetables, YTF and fish roll. As there was nothig else to do, we left soon after. It rained the whole journey back, and that contributed to a good sleep for me on the bus....
"Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo excommunicationis et interdicti in quantum possum et tu indiges. [X] Deinde, ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen."
P.S.: I did not get the chance to eat the famous mee longkang there!
Posted by William at 9:57 am