If You Dress Like a Monk and Eat Like a Monk, You Must Be . . .

Shaolin Temple — 3 November 2012 — Yesterday when I got back to my hostel, a young monk came over and gave me a pair of Kung Fu pants. News travels fast in a small village and he had heard that the American staying there (actually, I was the only guest for all but one night of my entire stay) had been taken on by a Kung Fu master, and needed monk clothes.

Then he took me to a village store where I bought a pair of Kung Fu shoes. At another store, I got a pair of Kung Fu socks, just like the ones in the movies!

How to wear Kung Fu pants: Continue reading

Shaolin Kung Fu, Lesson #1

Shaolin Temple — 2 November 2012 — Today’s post is going to be short. No fancy photos. No long descriptions. Nothing.

All I wanted to say is that I had my first Kung Fu lesson at Shaolin Monastery.

And it’s a miracle I survived.

In the morning, I showed up here:calligraphy shopIt’s the calligraphy shop at the temple. The courtyard beyond the glass door was where I trained. Continue reading

The Road to Dengfeng

DENGFENG — 31 October 2012 — There are no trains to Dengfeng. To get there, you either drive, take a taxi or ride a local bus.  I had hopped on the bus — the cheapest (36 yuan, or about $5.70) and hopefully, most adventurous option — and it did not disappoint.

First, it made many stops along the way, picking up passengers standing by the side of the road. Continue reading