Published: May 24th 2005May 11th 2005
Every day there is a market day in one of the bigger villages around here, and all the villagers arrive to sell and buy stuff. These markets are quite different than the ones you are used to. You can find just about everything here, not only fruit and vegetables and simple kitchen stuff.
In these markets you can find meat (just out there on the tables), live chickens, pigs, fish, etc. (for growing or for eating - fresh meat), tobacco (or some kind of leaves that they are smoking), cloths, books, electronic gadgets, shoes, and so on. Other than that you can get many services there - get your bike fixed, get a haircut, see a doctor, and even go to a dentist - right there in the middle of all this filth and stench...
The next day I went to one of these markets and saw all that.
Other than that I walked around this big village, and even climbed one of these hills to get a better view of the area. There were almost 2000 stairs to climb...
The following day was rainy again, so i did almost nothing.
When it was a little clearer I walked around
and decided to try a local MALABI-like thing, that was a little frightening in color, and they put some strange looking black sesame on it, along with some other things. It was OK. I walked around eating it, headed to the river bank to enjoy the view, where a couple of local girls laughed at me. I asked them if it's because of what I am eating, and they just laughed...
As it turned out they are English students here in Yangshou, which is apparently one of the English school centers of China. I talked to them for a while, and learned a lot about the life in China. The amount of money they are making here is ridiculous (a worker in a guesthouse in Yangshou makes 30-35$ + meals and bed), and they say that knowing English will make their income 10 times higher...
One of them invited me to dinner with her and her friend, who is a chef in a restaurant here, and also with an American guy from her English school and a Croatian guy who rents a room in the same apartment she does. They were making beer fish - a traditional dish of this
area, where you basically cook the fish in beer. They wanted the English speakers so they can practice...
We met later, the whole group, and went to the market for shopping. We got the fish - had to choose it out of the living fish there, and they killed it and prepared it on the spot. Then we got the vegetables and the beer.
The dinner was cool. The chef's apartment was a tiny room, a toilet, and a sink that was used also as a kitchen. He made one fish, and a soup, and the Croatian made the other fish in his style. The American told us that he worked as an engineer in a nuclear reactor in the US, and later he worked in a a factory of nuclear bombs. I don't know if he ever get to leave China and go back home...
The dinner was a very nice experience that I enjoyed a lot.
After that I went to another village who had a market, walked around the fields, and took a ride to an ancient village made of stone. The village was nice, but the scenery even better.
On my way back I passed near
a DVD shop and heard an episode of "Friends" from inside. Couldn't resist it, and went in. Half an hour later I was a proud owner of a set of 60 DVDs with all 10 seasons of my favorite show. The best 50$ I've spent so far on this trip. I sent it home along with other things I bought along the way.
My last experience here was a visit to a local silk workshop. You could see them there taking the cocoons, stretching them on bamboo frames, drying them, and making blankets out of them. The inside of the cocoon, which is basically a dead insect, is not wasted as well - it's fried and eaten for breakfast!
After a week here I decided I have rested enough, and seen enough, and so I moved on...
Until next time,
There are more photos below