“Well I think it’s disgraceful! You tell them from me, it’s disgraceful!”
In the chair opposite me sat JP, a senior teacher from one of London’s many religious Buddhist organisations. He was also a friend of several years; JP and I practiced the same type of Buddhism. He was grinning at me, eyes fierce: ironic, playful, but genuinely angry.
As he finished speaking, I had nervously bitten off a large piece of the chocolate that he had given me when I arrived, bought for him from a trendy East London boutique by one of his many disciples. I gulped it down with my herbal tea; the smell of incense – burning on the small shrine in the room’s corner – was overwhelmingly sweet.