Sweet fish with a very sour aftertaste!
Trip Start Mar 10, 2007
153Trip End Jan 01, 2007
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Today we visited my favourite garden, the lion forest garden, so called because the stones were supposed to look like lions. After the previous things we have seen with names like this that quite frankly needed the mind of an abstract artist to see, i was very skeptical as to whether or not these rocks would in fact be lion-like, but i was impressed ( see pics soon). This was my favorite garden as it is rock based( in itself a major change) and i liked the winding tunnels of rock caverns, where you could wander down and have no idea where abouts in the garden you would turn up. It would be an ideal place to take kids for a day out, or if you just wanted to lose some children. The busyness was a downer but all these gardens are rammed with tourists anyway, so you just have to put up with it.
Now the most interesting part of the day was without a doubt at lunchtime. Dragon ordered for all of us as per usual now (I wasn't eating as i had too big a breakky, bloody buffets!). The meal looked good and they got this massive sweet and sour fish, which took up about half the table, and was a meal in itself. When the bill came it became clear that this was more than the case...
So the bill comes and Dragon looks worried, scared even ( remember that saving face here is a very big thing, especially in front of foreigners!) Turns out that the sweet and sour fish alone cost 368 yuan (we normally pay around 100 yuan for all of our dishes in total). Everyone was not pleased.
Dragon went out to the front, took on about 7 members of staff in an argument as they didn't inform us as to how much the fish cost beforehand and hence argued that we shouldn't have to pay that much. We were left sitting at the table for about 2 hours pondering what was happening:- did Dragon make a mistake? Were we being fleeced as we were westerners? Who was in the wrong? Our lack of understanding of mandarin meant we could only wonder!
Offers were made and refused, tempers flared, the police even got called in!
To cut a long story short (unlike you mum i will actually get straight to the point here) in the end 300 yuan was paid and we left of our own free will, no handcuffs or police escort and returned to the hotel. Again this was another classic example of the Chinese 'saving face', however in this case i think dragon came out on top!
Thank God i didn't eat in the end eh!