I’m not sure how it happened, but at the end of last week I lost my mojo. I’m normally so careful with it and put it in a safe place each night before I go to bed, but when I woke up on Sunday morning it had vanished and was nowhere to be seen.
I checked under the bed in case it had fallen down and rolled under it in the night, I searched behind the sofa and cushions, I threw open cupboards and emptied their contents, I went through the dirty washing in the laundry basket, hunted high and low around the apartment and even worked my way through a half a bottle of vodka to see if is was lurking in there. But no, the wretched thing had well and truly vanished which was a total bitch as it was my birthday. Of all the days in the year to lose it, why did it have to be on my birthday? And, if losing my mojo wasn’t bad enough through sheer carelessness, I had no help in finding it either as the Irishman was busy in meetings all weekend and I was alone.
They say that two heads are better than one, so after much cursing and looking everywhere to no avail, I rang a friend later in the morning and asked for her help. ‘I’ve been so stupid’ I wailed, ‘I’ve lost my mojo please can you help me find it?’ – ‘I don’t know what the fuck I’ve done with it, but it’s lost and I want it back now’
‘Have you looked all round the apartment?’ she asked. ‘Have you checked in your handbag? ‘Lottie, it’s probably in the bottom of your filthy, untidy handbag’. I went to check, but no it wasn’t in there. ‘Ok’ she said sounding like someone who knows exactly what to do in moments of crisis, ‘I’ve got and idea’ ‘let’s go and see if it’s in Glodok? It may well be hiding there and we could go and check out the Dharma Bhakti temple while we’re at it’.
We headed up to Glodok which is the Chinese quarter in the north of the city. Tiny bustling lanes, houses with red tiled roofs and birdcages hanging outside, and busy street markets greeted us when we arrived. It was teeming with tuk tuks, bicycles and Chinese families shopping for their groceries. Vendors sat at the roadside with their baskets stuffed with tiny little birds and there were stalls selling all manner of things from vegetables to bicycle wheels. Our guidebook had said that we might also find skinned frogs and live bugs for sale, but we didn’t see any which I was actually quite glad about.
I looked around but I still couldn’t spot my mojo anywhere. ‘Don’t worry Lottie’ my friend said, ‘we’ll find it soon, I promise you’.
We made our way down through the narrow, crowded streets towards the western end of the market. Taking in the sights and sounds about us and we soon arrived at the Dharma Bhakti Temple which is housed in a compound known as Jin de Yuan. I’d never been to a Chinese Buddhist temple before so it was all very new and unfamiliar to me.
The weather was very warm and humid outside, but when we went inside the temple itself, the large crowd of people and the heat from all the lit candles made it stiflingly hot. All around us people were lighting bunches of incense sticks which filled the air with heavy perfume and the smoke made our eyes smart but the atmosphere was extraordinary and it was fascinating to watch what was going on around us. I explored all around the interior of the temple and then went outside to the courtyard area where more shrines to various Gods took up three sides of the temple space outside. At each shrine people would place their lighted bunches of incense then step back and pray. It was beautiful to watch and I loved seeing all the various offerings and gifts that had been left there over the New Year celebrations.
Unfortunately we only had one hour to explore the temple before we had to head off home as Farjar’s services were required and he had to be somewhere else. The good news is that just when I had given up all hope of ever finding my mojo,and we were nearly ready to leave, I was just rooting around in my pocket for something to wipe my camera lenses with at the temple and I found it! I found my mojo at last!
When Pedro got back home later that evening the first thing he asked me was whether I had found my mojo? ‘Yes’ I replied with a beaming smile ‘It was in my jeans pocket all the time’
‘Phew!’ he said ‘Thank God for that, now I have my Lottie back! Please Darling, do me a favour and try not to lose it again? You really are quite unbearable to live with, without it’.