What Did I Just Eat?

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

Last night escalated fairly fast. It was technically Chris’ birthday even though we had already celebrated the night prior. We had dinner at the school, which is cooked by the same cook that was at the house in Fengyang. She is very nice, but we eat a lot of the same things. Eggs and rice for breakfast almost everyday. Regardless, I can’t complain too much because it’s included in this and already paid for.

After dinner Percy brought out a cake for Chris and we sang happy birthday to him.

Then we headed downtown to go to a place called Mimosa’s. It is a little restaurant that has a large couch upstairs and a plasma TV to watch movies on. We brought along the new girl, Amanda, who flew in this weekend from Africa. She was in Kenya for nine months, but she is from Sweden. The others were going to meet up later. Long story short, we never made it to Mimosa’s. We got stopped by Monkey Jane’s cousin who works at the hostel. She was at Lucy’s, a restaurant a few doors down from Mimosa’s. I had met Lucy a couple times before and she is a really nice lady. She invited us to stay for a beer, and that turned into more. We ended up staying there for the evening and were joined by Hughie from the program, and a random Dutch couple whom I invited to come sit with us. The first time that we came to Yangshou I had the crispy duck at Lucy’s, so I told anyone that walked by and looked at the menu that they should get the crispy duck. I think around five or six people got it, so Lucy gave me a free beer and said I could come back and bring people in any time.

Chris went to an internet café, so Amanda and I walked back to the school after waiting for the bus for about 10 minutes only to realize that the bus stops at 9. It isn’t that far of a walk, but when we got back the gate was closed the school. Next thing I knew Amanda was on the other side of the gate. After I jumped it I looked up to see what appeared to be a guard with a large automatic weapon. It may have been a bb gun or something meant to look scary. I just said “ni hao” and kept walking. Amanda didn’t so him, so now I am questioning my sanity a little. I’m pretty sure I saw it though.

This morning we woke up and ate here, then hopped on a bus to catch another bus to go to an Huongyao ancient village. It is over 1000 years old. After waiting for a while, a large, bright pink bus drove up. We were all under the impression that this bus ride would be around a half hour or so. It ended up being two hours each way. I felt fine all morning until we got to some very bumpy roads. I started to feel a bit car sick and after the fact, Julie, one of the Brits, told me that I was ghost white and was looking pretty rough. Reminded me of a family vacation to California. I don’t want to go into details, but let’s just say I got spaghetti from the backseat to the front windshield in vomit form. Nothing like that happened luckily and I tried to sleep.

Once we got to the village, which now has a larger town built next to it, we got lunch. The menu was not in English, so I tried to just say chicken, beef and rice. Then Julie recognized a symbol for “people” that had the numbers 6-8 in front of it. We ordered that and it ended up being a feast. The more interesting dishes were very small fried fish, which were a little too strong for my stomach after the ride, and the other dish was what looked like kidneys, livers, and maybe some kind of esophagus. All from a chicken I think. The kidneys weren’t too bad, but they were in a strange sauce with vegetables. My favorite dish was the black bean chicken. It was actually very good. After being about 10 minutes late for the tour, we entered the village.

It was pretty interesting. I took around 375 pictures of which I edited 74 tonight. I guess the photos can speak for the village, but some parts were pretty breathtaking. The mountains around the village are pretty amazing. The Chinese people in the area were very nice. An old man pointed me down a road for a better shot when he walked by and saw me taking pictures. It was a lot of walking and I am exhausted. The internet is back on here, but it is pretty slow at night, so I will do what I can to keep up.

I’m pretty sure I am sleeping on a box spring of a mattress set. Maybe someone should inform the school that that is meant to go under a nice, cushiony mattress…  In other news, I’m growing out the mustache. Might take a while for that to start showing up in pictures…Until next time…

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