Gu Guan’s Utopia Holiday Hotel

We were in Tai Zhong (台中, literally translates to Middle of Taiwan) with my host mom’s chi gong exercise group for only night. The hotel’s main attraction was the hot springs.

The water from the faucet and bathtub smelled of eggs because of the sulfur in the spring water that the hotel was using. I knew nothing was wrong with the water but it still made me feel unclean.

The hotel overlooked an almost dried up river and the hotel looked magical at night.


This was taken on the wooden rope bridge that spanned the river.


After staying in the hot spring for forty minutes (according to the eighty year old chi gong health gurus, that was too long) and realizing that staying still in a freezing cold spring isn’t that bad because your skin will eventually be surrounded by a thin layer of warm water, we stumbled upon a praying mantis. Because of me but mainly because of my Czech exchange student friend, that praying mantis is most likely blind now and possibly dead because of being blind.


It began swiping its claws at our phones. Then my Czech friend grabbed his camera from his room to take photos. Things turned a little cruel from then on.

After taking a few photos, my friend began using the camera not as a way to take photos but more as a way to blind the praying mantis. He brought the camera close to the bug, the lens a couple centimeters away from the ground and the flash unit right in the face of the praying mantis. Then it was click click click.

I took a video of the praying mantis, and sadly, when watching it later, saw that the praying mantis was wiping its eyes with his claws. It was also turning its head away from the camera. But our photos are more important than it’s puny little life, right?



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