On to Emei
Emeishan Travel Blog› entry 98 of 136 › view all entries
From Leshan we made the short jaunt over to Emei where we transferred up to a monastery on the mountain. Emei mountain is dotted by literally dozens of temples, monasteries, nunneries, and shrines, and is among one of the holiest Buddhist sites in China. Even today many of these monasteries are still active, supplementing their income by hosting travellers/pilgrims on their grounds.
Arriving in mid/late afternoon we took a short time to get situated in our accomodations. Tonight and on the night of the 15th we stayed at Fuhu (Hidden Tiger) Monastery. We met Patrick (most of the Chinese take a Western "name" which seemed sort of odd to me, but I guess they thought that makes it easier for foreigners) a local tour guide who would prove extremely helpful and most memorable. Patrick offered to take some laundry for us and return it in two days when we returned to Fuhu so I pulled some of the dirty gear out and placed it in a sack for this service (of which I did have to pay a nominal fee - nothing is free of course). Settled in for a bit in my room, did a bit of writing before dinner and then we headed down the road with Patrick in search for some food.
Now Patrick was quite the boisterous and talkative person. He also fell into the category of sharing way too much information. During dinner we learned that he had violated China's one-child policy but that now he wanted a divorce from his wife because all she did was sit around all day on the computer and spent his money. He asked everyone's opinion on whether he should go through with this or not, while we all just sort of sat in stunned silence at these personal details. It also wasn't just what he was sharing it was also the way he shared it. One of those you really had to be there moments.
After dinner it was back to Fuhu monastery. A large gathering of local tourists/pilgrims had arrived. As I walked around the grounds for a bit in the evening it was actually quite awkward. I was definitely feeling the out of place foreigner (and a tall one at that) as many of the Chinese women would bow in greeting me and several older ones would come up and touch my arms. If not the actual invasion of physical space, I could definitely sense the glances and occasional outright stares. Not feeling comfortable with the all the attention I ultimately headed back to my room to write a bit more and then hit the sack waiting for tomorrow's adventure.