I recently bought still another 4TB external hard drive – they get cheaper all the time – and backed up photos on yet another hard drive. I got to rummaging through some of the pictures from the final years I lived in Beijing. A wound-up, high-stress, absurdly polluted place you loved to hate, and yet… Despite all of the hideous development at the hands of the soulless creatures that run the city, still a charming, beautiful city in its own way, a world city in every respect. I was there from 2005 to 2012 and throughout those years, it was definitely a wonderful place to set out walking with a camera.
This woman has stopped on her way to work to pay her respects in front of the Man Mo Temple. Man Mo Temple is neither Buddhist nor Taoist, so it is not clear what deity or spiritual being she is communing with. Wikipedia claims that in the past during the Ming and Qing dynasties, scholars sitting for the imperial civil service exams used to visit this temple to ask the Civil Deity to look favorably on their efforts. Wikipedia goes on to say the temple was built in the 1890s – the Ming dynasty had been gone for more than 200 years by this time and the Qing would collapse in 1911. I cannot recall the exact year, but if I am not mistaken, it was sometime around the time that the temple was supposedly built that the imperial examination system came to an end for good. So much for that. Man Mo Temple is on Hollywood Rd in the Sheung Wan area just west of Hong Kong Central.