In China, the saying goes:
(lè bù sī Shǔ)
“Too joyful to think of Shu”
Used to describe people who enjoy their time away so much that thoughts of home are pushed out of their minds, this idiom originates from the tale of the last King of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period.
Shu was a prosperous kingdom established by Liu Bei with the assistance of militarist Zhuge Liang and generals Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. After Liu Bei passed away, his son Liu Chan took over, but Shu slowly lost strength under its new ruler; eventually, it was defeated by the kingdom of Wei. Consequently, Liu Chan was forced to move to Luoyang, the capital of Wei. He was greeted with a big banquet thrown by Sima Zhao, the ruler of Wei.
In order to test the exiled king’s loyalty, Sima Zhao arranged for the former residents of Shu to watch a performance of traditional Shu dancing and music. All the Shu captives were greatly upset by this reminder of their former home, except for Liu Chan. Sima Zhao observed Liu Chan’s delight at the performance and asked, “Don’t you miss your home?” To which Liu replied: “I am so happy to be here that I think not of Shu.” Liu Chan’s behavior can be interpreted in two ways. Some historians think he was an inane ruler and truly was enjoying being held captive by Wei, but others speculate that he only pretended to be foolish in order to protect his people. Regardless, it is natural to ask a friend who is having a grand time away from home, “Are you having such a good time that you are ‘lè bù sī Shǔ?’” (你是不是玩得乐不思蜀了?)