Friday, June 29, 2012

By bus to FengHuang

Here's how our day went today:  Wake at 6:00.  Get kids up and dressed, fight with Laina about how she's carrying too much stuff in her backpack "No, Laina, there is no reason why you need to carry those stones you collected from the park in your backpack.  You can put them in your suitcase".  Get a call that the taxi we arranged to pick us up at 7:00 is actually going to be early and we need to get ready ASAP.  In the lobby at 6:45.  Get to Bus station at 7:20 and learn that, although we wanted to take a bus at 8:30, we can actually get an earlier bus at 8:00.  Fine, get the ticket, make a quick trip to the toilet (to say it was a dumpy toilet is disrespectful to dumps), and climb on the bus.  The bus leaves promptly (much to our surprise) and we head out on our journey.  We stop about 1:45 into the trip for pit stop and then continue on until 12:00 when we arrived at FengHuang.  We got a taxi to our hotel, settled in, gave the hotel some REALLY foul laundry to do and went out for an explore.

Fenghuang is so Touristy!  There are little tourist shops selling all manner of junk and gewgaw and handicrafts from the region.  There are shops selling pulled ginger candy and dried pig faces, Some sell tobacco, and others tea.  What we were SUPPOSED to see was the amazing ancient wooden buildings, but these were hard to see for all of the human action going on at street level.   The girls each bought some little souvenirs, Laina got a necklace, Min got a small purse and a dress.  (I have a couple of friends that will point and laugh at me that I STILL can't spell "Souvenir" without spell check).  After we had our fill of walking around, we went back to our hotel room for a bit of a rest.  The girls watched TV.  Jorg slept.  I did some internet.  After our rest we went out to the night market for dinner.  There were stalls with all manner of things put onto bamboo skewers.  You pick what you'd like and they grill it up for you and then you sit at the little table and enjoy the meal.  We had chicken, dry cured ham, lamb, some sort of green vegetable, cauliflower and broccoli.  It was quite good.  We also got some dumplings which, after taking a bite, went straight into the trash.  Yuck!  No flavor and cold.  The girls finished the night with some watermelon slices.  Now, everyone is tucked into bed, except me.  I will take a shower (Jorg told me not to electrocute myself, as the electric shower has its power supply IN the shower) and I will be off to bed, too.  Tomorrow we will take a bus to Jishou, and then another bus to Duhuang and we will be there for 2 nights.

Best thing today:  Well, maybe not best, but as I was on the bus, I saw a very old granny, who was carrying a basket of vegetables on her back.  She was walking next to a motorcycle that had a little boy, maybe 2 years old on the back.  The old granny reached out to pat the little boy's head.  It was one of those sweet moments that one captures in the mind like a flashbulb going off.  It lasts for a second and is gone, save for the shadow of it in your memory.

Worst thing:  Those yucky dumplings.  Blech.  Oh and the smell of Cho Doufu. Cho Doufu, literally "Stinky Tofu", was one of Mao ze Dong's favorite foods, and they love to cook it around here.  It really stinks like poo.  The taste isn't so bad, but why would anyone want to eat food that smells like poo?  I will eat it if it's served to me, because I'm polite that way, but I would never choose it on my own.  Sometimes I have wondered if they just make this stuff to serve to foreigners to see if they can make the foreigner eat food that smells like poo, but actually, it's a favorite food around here.  The locals love the stuff.

No comments: