Stepping into our first chinese temple of many, I realize that they’ve all become meccas for vendors selling cheap souvenirs and toys. These little stands are everywhere, extending up the temple steps all the way to the very platform where the few non-tourists are burning incense to their gods. i’m promising myself i’ll find a site that hasn’t been quite as engulfed in the cheesy tourism that we’ve seen so far. That’s not to say that the places we’ve been to are undeserving of their crowds—I’d just kill to be able to get a view of an old temple without twenty other clamoring tourists taking their photos with the object in front of me.
My uncle shared with me a very funny saying…I’ll try my best to remember it:
zhou de lu shang jiu shui jiao,
ting zai lu bian han niaoniao.
lai dao jingdian jiu paizhao,
kan wan shenmo ye bu zhidao.
which translates to something that isn’t nearly as clever because it doesn’t rhyme.
on the road they only sleep,
and when they stop the want to pee.
reaching what they want to see, they only take pictures.
in the end, they still know nothing.
this doesn’t make me feel any better though…i don’t know how to read chinese, so it’s difficult to grasp the full meaning of the sites we visit, especially when so much of chinese culture is written within its calligraphy. and oh..you might not have noticed but i like to take pictures…