Getting our bikes released from the freight warehouse, was a production…. But luckily, we were not involved in any of it.
We gave the paperwork and passport, to Clarence’s wife, who got there before closing time, released our bike boxes, unpacked them and got rid of all the Styrofoam they used to pack our bike bags, and waited in the street for us to finish seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors, for TWO HOURS….
She was there on the street, waiting for us, with a huge smile on her face and with our large black bike bags.
She squeezed next to me in the van, and held my hand in friendliness most of the drive home.
It occurred to me that NO WHERE in the Western world, a woman would do this for no extra fee, out of the goodness of her heart and such ease and willingness to help the guests staying at her place….
When it was time to pay the modest fee for the apartment, and for hiring Clarence as a guide, I insisted on paying his wife for her time and help, in releasing our bikes.
They refused with politeness, saying that it is part of their service… That they are happy we are staying with them…. But Jules handed his wife 400 Yuans (about $65 USD)
She was ecstatic with joy and accepted it with a million thanks.
Later, she bought for me as a gift, a collection of traditional soft silk symbols, to hang above my home-alter, to bring me good luck in life.