I’m leaving Hainan Island tomorrow to visit
two more sacred mountains in China. One
of them is Wu Tai Shan – the other Song
Shan – the site of the world renowned
I’ve been to the Shaolin Temple before but
had a snafu with the photos last time – as well
as the idiot tour guide who was hired without my
knowledge or consent.
Typically I don’t like or want tour guides – and
this guy four years ago helped fuel my non-desire
for any additional guides.
Let me give you the fireworks on this story.
After touring the temple grounds, the guide told
me that it was time to go back to Zhengzhou – the
capital of Henan Province, where we were staying.
I said: “Wait a minute here pal. I want to go up the
mountain to the cave where Boddhidharma sat and
meditated for nine years.”
The guide says: “Oh no, we can’t do that. It would
take three or four days to go up the mountain.”
I turned to my brother-in-law and said: “Three days
my ass. This isn’t the Himalayas.”
He replied: “Face. Face.” This meant I had better shut
up so the guide saved face.
“Face… my ASS,” I said. “I want to go to the cave and this
jerk is lying to us because he’s too freaking lazy.”
“Mei wenti,” he says – “no problem.”
My brother-in-law then told me that I better tip the guy
for his time.
“I am NOT tipping this guy,” I said. “He’s been the worst
guide I have ever seen. He’s pompous. He’s arrogant. He
thinks he’s something special because he knows more
about the Shaolin Temple than I do.”
“You must tip him,” he said.
“No way,” I posture.
“Face. Face. Remember, we may need the connection
“HAAAA. With connections like this I’d rather have no
“Face. Face,” he says again.
“How bout this guy show ME some face,” I said. “I’m the
guy paying him. Why should I be showing his mangy mug
Fifteen minutes later, after a meal softened me a bit – I
gave the chump 50 Renminbi – but as I handed it to him
I looked the other way, making zero eye contact.
“Xie xie,” he says. Thank you.
I said: “No thanks.” Then I looked at my brother-in-law
and said, “No next time. I don’t EVER want you to get
me another tour guide.”
Re-telling this story makes me feel good. Mostly because
I haven’t had a tour guide in four years, and have done
fine. And this trip will be no exception.
I feel so GOOD about telling this story that I’m extending
my 50% off special another day. And when I get to Wu
Tai Shan and Song Shan I promise to get some more
awesome pics for you to see.
and order NOW.