我是无事不登三宝殿 ('If I did not have any business, I would not enter the Three Jewels Palace’)

René called on his friend the other day to ask his advice on a matter. He wanted to convey to his friend that he wasn’t just dropping in for a chit-chat, but had something specific to ask.

They sat down and spoke for over an hour. René said he felt awkward arriving at his friend’s home unannounced to discuss a personal matter and asked his friend if there was an expression that was the polite equivalent of 需要你帮忙, '(I)need your help'), or 我有事, but not sounding so direct.

The expression 我是无事不登三宝殿 wǒ shi wúshì bùdēng Sānbǎodiàn literally means "if I didn't have any business, I would not ascend the Three Jewels Buddhist Palace."

The expression is often used when you want to ask somebody for advice, or need someone's help.

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