Molly Kendrick writes Contemptible Impudence, a blog about freelance writing. she hosts yeah no yeah podcast with co-host katie brandt.

Thien Hau Temple on North Lamar

Dosa-head On my way back from meeting Max for delicious gigantic dhosa at Bombay Express, I got lost.  I get lost pretty regularly. People throw around terms like "North" like it's no big thing. Where is North? Everyone else seems to know. I find myself consulting the sun, like a stranded shipwreck victim, or an idiot.

I found myself on North Lamar, a road I had heard of before, so I decided to stick with it, even though I don't  know where North Lamar is in relation to where I live. You may be thinking, "Look at a damn map!" One day, maybe. Maps are boring.

But I know for a fact that I am in the middle of Texas, which is why I felt compelled to pull over when I saw a Buddhist temple. Thien Hau Temple doesn't have a great online presence (at least in English) so I don't know anything about it except that there is another Thien Hau Temple in Ho Chi Minh City in Veitenam. Thien Hau translates to "Lady of the Sea."

My sad little camera can only zoom out so far, so to get a good picture of the temple I would have to stand in the middle of a busy intersection. Here's a picture of a smaller, similar-looking building right outside the main temple. (Sorry, lovely temple.)


This tray of bread next to the temple was unmolested by birds, due to mystical properties.


I didn't hear anything going on inside the temple, but it was open for business.

COME CLOSER, the shadowy entrance beckoned, brimming with foreign deities.

I thought about going inside to get a whiff of exotic incense. Just as that thought unfurled, an old man shuffled by and waved. Was he a normal temple attendee or the lonely ghost of a supplicant with unfinished business? It was too hot for paranormal investigations, as is so often the case in Texas.

In the midst of the weekday noontime heat, the meditation garden was empty, so I felt free to stomp around, all oafish and uncultured. Look at this cool Asian shit! I said to myself, a culturally insensitive bimbo til the end.


And Ahoy! The lady of the sea, a long way from the sea.