I broke something at the Fuguo Monastery. No, I didn’t have to buy it. This is what happened. I tripped on a pile of tiles, the clammer interrupting the monk music or whatever it’s called. A bhikkhuni  (female monk) scurried to the scene to see what caused the ruckus. I don’t think I’ll go back there in this lifetime.

If you don’t want to watch the short video with my confession, here are a few photos, including uh, the tile.

While I didn’t have to pay for the broken tile, I did end up with some strange souvenirs. Lettuce and Honey. Or in Chinese, shēng cài 生菜 and 蜂蜜 fēng mì.

The sales lady, a feisty 85-year-old woman, had one of those adorable shrunken apple faces. She accosted me while I was meandering through town, grabbing my arm and dragging me onto her stool. She wouldn’t let me leave until I bought the rest of her lettuce–which I did–for about a buck. Then her friend talked me into a jar of local honey.

Sold to the sucker with the American Passport!

So exactly where am I that I break things in monasteries and buy a lettuce for a souvenir? Baisha, China, the same place where the man with the dented head opened my beer with his teeth. Something tells me he has a few good stories.

Baisha is right from the pages of National Geographic, minus the blow-in cards.

It is close to YuHu Village on the foothills of the Yu Lung Montain National Park.

The Chinese word for moo is 哞 mōu, by the way. Like the cow, the folks in YuHu speak their own dialect (NaXi). There are a few restuarants and places to stay, and ninety minutes free parking for your horse, but that’s about it.

About an hour walk from Yuhu is the Yushir Zahi Park. There are lots of cool temples butI didn’t bother reading the details.

Is it just me, or does this shrine remind anyone of North Halsted Street in Chicago?

At YuShui Park, you’ll also find the shrine for the Ultimate Awful God of Nature. Good thing I didn’t break anything here. The god is pissed about deforrestation, hormones in food, the killing of endangered species, and is especially upset about the new multi-million dollar CLUB MED at the base of the hill.

While I did get lettuce and honey in Baisha, I did take a pass on the Yak Milk.

I did eat a a few local places.

Baisha is outside of Lijiang, a once quaint Chinese town that has been transformed into a tourist trap. But hiking at Lijiang’s Black Dragon Pool (behind me) is pretty cool, especially if you’re my age and it’s free. Go for it. Just don’t touch anything in the temples.

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