Na consulted a Fortune Teller, regarding a business decision she was grappling with. The Fortune Teller, didn't want any rewards, but told Na she should find a Chinese style temple beside the river and "presided over" by a Female Chinese icon, and make merit there as part of the "transaction".
Na told me about this, and so I reminded her of a small new Chinese style pagoda we had recently noticed not far from our home...and, the predominant icon in the pagoda was Female.
So we went there that very day. On the way Na asked me to stop at a market where she acquired a number of merit making things, included several superior quality imported apples and oranges for leaving as offerings to the icon.
I wandered about taking pictures of the surroundings while Na made merit; then, as we were about to leave, brought her attention to the presence of 3 young, scruffy labourers who were repairing the concrete wall near the river jetty, and the fact that they had been very interested in what she was doing.
Na walked over to them, spoke to them for a minute, they wai'd her and she wai'd them [wai is a respectful gesture involving putting both hands in prayer position and then bowing over it] and then she returned to me and said "Ok...let's go."
I asked "What did you say to them?"
Na replied "I told them the fruit is of the very best, imported quality, and they might enjoy to take it for a snack after we have left." Then she added, "Probably they have never eaten fruit that good before, and never will again."
It would normally regarded as a great sin to steal offerings from an "altar", but Na gave them permission which, to her, removed the taboo.
I said "You made me think of The Bishop's Candlesticks, in Les Miserables...now I understand what it was all about."
Na replied "What is a Bishop?"