Sunday morning found Puey and I accompanying Ade for mass at the St. Ignatius Cathedral. Puey had never been to one before, and it was better than lazing about our apartment anyway. The cathedral was closed to sightseers that morning – we were stopped by the security guard who let us through only when Ade said that we were there for mass. A Chinese woman tried to get into the building by tagging along with us, to which he tested her on what her supposed religion was. I didn’t get to hear her answer.
Anyway, Ade had chosen this place because it was the closest church to us that had an English service; although to be honest, I could barely understand the heavily-accented English of the pastor. The place was smaller than I thought it would be from its exterior, but it was beautiful. It also dredged up fond childhood memories of following Aunty Dev to Sunday Mass in which I got to queue up for tasteless wafer biscuits (something which according to Ade, I wasn’t supposed to do, not being baptised or even Catholic for that matter). It made me miss Aunty Dev.
We encountered a middle-aged woman enthusiastically taking photos of the architecture, her point & shoot mounted on a small tripod. So of course she would be perfect to ask for a photo of the three of us before it was time for mass. Turned out that she was just as dedicated to helping us capture the perfect shot by tirelessly rearranging the three of us and compositing various shots. If the mix of amusement and horrified expressions chasing each other on my face was anything to go by, it was a fascinating experience that will continue to haunt me for years to come:
We headed to the Shanghai Museum later in the day, barely making it before they closed the doors for visitors. We only had an hour to explore the exhibits, which was quite a shame, since the museum had much to offer. Still, an hour here opened my eyes to a vast world of jade, ceramics, and money from China’s rich history. It was very educational.
Left: Three boys and Boy holding Lingzhi (fungus) in hand from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD)
Right: Square plaque with serpent design, ornament with two parrots, ornament with deer design from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD)
You know what, I’d imagine sword coins were pretty useful to carry. XD