Sam & Squareface takes in China where colour is more prevalent
04.11.2006 - 04.11.2006
Saturday, 4 November 2006, 2200m above sea level
Breakfast was the same fare again – fried dough fritters (youtiao), porridge, spicy noodles, soya bean drink, and hard-boiled eggs. Having overslept, we had to gobble down the above items within 10 minutes.
The thing about tour packages that is worthy of hate is the deliberate stopovers at tourguide-gets-commission shopping places. There were 2 stopovers selling jade and silver. Fortunately the 2nd shopping area was not as isolated so we made use of the opportunity to check out the area surrounding it, and ate some barbequed food. I tried yak meat! Not fantastic. Yak meat is tough to chew on. After the torturous wait for tourists who relent to buying things from these places, we headed for Lijiang.
Me with yak meat and Sam happy with bbq tofu.
Bugs! To be eaten!
Sam being at home with the chopper
Lijiang Old Streets (丽江古街) was touristy, but had more flavour than Dali’s Old Town. The shops sell plenty of ethnic stuff, and the streets emitted a fusion of the new and old. A sense of tranquillity, and yet, vibrancy. The little river that is a trademark of this place was lined with plenty of little cafes, restaurants, and an abundance of hostels.
The majority of the inhabitants of Lijiang are from the naxi nationality, and thus have a different dialect.
女人(a woman): 胖金妹 (pang jin mei)
男人(a man): 胖金哥 (pang jin ge)
Women are considered as adults at a young age of 13, and do the chores and marry a husband (娶老公) whilst the husband gets married (嫁给老婆). Fat and dark-skinned women are beautiful in their culture, as that signifies that she’s healthy.
We were to part with the tour group since we were the odd couple (in more ways than one) who wanted to go up to Shangri-la whilst the rest of them were only intending to go to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山). Dinner with the Shanghainese trio and the Taiwanese couple (the Singaporean guys left upon arrival at Lijiang) gave me some socializing training. The Shanghainese man treated us to one bottle of Guizhou’s white wine, which leaves a fire from your mouth all the way to your stomach and beyond. Nevertheless, one cannot reject a toast and an offering of a cigarette, so there you have it. Beer/Wine is customary in social occasions, but I didn’t expect to be doing this whilst on a tour. Contact numbers were exchanged and words were given to meet up back in Shanghai. The Taiwanese guy was really sweet. When he knew it was my birthday a couple of days later, he went out of the restaurant and got me a bunch of lollipops to represent flowers since he couldn’t find neither flowers nor a cake.
Later on that night Sam and I met the Taiwanese couple for drinks in one of the cafes, and they bought me a birthday cake! Weirdly designed, but an incredibly sweet gesture. So I had an early celebration with my lover, 2 new friends, and 2 strangers (had to share our booth with them), with red wine and popcorn.
More pictures at Squareface's Shots.