I'm sitting in the park watching my son play on the swings.
A Chinese man walks up and sits down next to me. I notice that he has a strange look on his face - he looks confused. I also notice that he is watching my right hand.
In my right hand is a set of Mala or prayer beads (they have many names). He watches as I count the beads through my thumb and forefinger - a habit of mine for almost 20 years.
I continue to watch the kids playing on the swings. All the while, I can feel him watching me.
After a couple of minutes, I turn and look at him; he’s staring straight at me. He begins to speak to me.
Chinese man (looking at my beads) - “Are they for Buddhism?”
Me - “In a way, yes.”
Chinese man - “But you’re not Chinese!”
Me - “Well, you’re not Indian!”
The Chinese man got up and walked away.
Now, I don’t claim to know much. But I do know that the founder of Buddhism, Siddhārtha Gautama, was Indian - not Chinese!