Monday, March 30, 2009

tea for the thirsty and weary travellers

at the corner of boon teck road and balestier road, there is this stand with two aluminium containers of warm tea. at least, it was warm that morning when i felt the sides of the containers. i did not take a drink because i did not feel the urge.

i remember during my younger days, when i walked back to my home from moulmein road, i would sometimes stop outside the kuang chee tng temple to quench my thirst from a container of tea. it did not matter that the tea was not warm. i was just grateful for something to drink on a warm day. i do not know whether that temple still provides free tea.

these chinese temples are just adhering to two of the taoist doctrines - distributing medicine to the sick and those in pain and giving tea to refresh the thirsty and weary. at the boon teck road temple, they not only provide free tea, they also provide free medical consultations by both traditional chinese medicine practitioners (tcm) and western-trained doctors.

however, i would like to suggest to them that they provide disposable plastic cups rather than those porcelain cups. there does not seem to be any facility for washing the cup after you have drunk from it.


Victor said...

Why provide 2 pots of tea? Different flavours like Tie Guan Yin 铁观音 and Mo Li Hua 茉莉花? Or coffee and tea?

If someone were to fall sick after drinking from the dirty cups, they can get free consultations.

Victor said...

Is the temple in your photos also known as the Tua Pek Kong temple?

yg said...


i assumed. the next time i pass that way, i will check. maybe, it's one tea and one plain water.

my chinese is half past 6; still i know it's not tua pek kong. it's the temple shown in the photos. i think it is a teochew temple because that's the dialect i heard spoken by most of the people in the temple.

doris said...

plastic cups will pose litter problems and add to cost cos got to buy cups and pay fines. providing free tea/water is good enough. i lived in boon teck rd after i was born and left the place before aged 5 so can only remember the temple and a small provision shop facing balestier road. wendy lived in ah hood road till she got married.

yg said...

doris, can provide a trash bag, mah. won't cost much.
if i remember correctly, wendy lived in a house, not far from the sun yat sen's villa. those days, the villa was a place where we went to make use of the library for our studies/revision. no admission charges at all.

nah said...

The temple shown is Tong Teck Sian Tong Lian Sin Sia, in Boon Teck Road.
Tua Pek Kong temple, which is Gor Chor Tua Pek Kong temple (Wu Cao Da Bo Gong) is the one with a wayang stage near Ruby Plaza.
Kuang Chee Tng which is in Moulmein Road, is another Teochew temple. I used to pass by this temple during my school days, and often heard the buddhist sutras chanted in Teochew.