HK&C: Day 5: Rainy Yongzhou

The rains fell well through the night, with the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard. I don’t think I’ve ever been so startled by thunder, really. The power went out around 0130, which left little for one unable to sleep to do besides really hope the power, and the glorious air conditioning it provided,would return.

We slept late, and as such, most of the breakfast vendors had already closed up by the time we mustered out, but we secured some of the fried wonton-y things, which I learned are a specialty pancake of one of the local minorities. and some fruit and headed back home for more Bust a Move, having officially tapped the vein.
Kiely and some of his students.

A group of my brother’s students and scheduled to come by to say goodbye and to give him a gift, and right on time at 1030, there was a knock at the door from a gaggle of girls. They came bearing a few extremely thoughtful gifts: a Chinese knot for good luck, some calligraphy, and a small notebook in which members of the class had each written a well-wishing note. Among my favorite notes were one where a student mentions Kiely’s left handedness (students in China are required to be right handed) and another which spoke of his, “golden eyelashes”. This gave me plenty of material to tease him.

A lot of my brother’s best students are female. According to Kiely, a lot of his female students work harder, and many have expressed that their parents would have been happier if they were boys. It’s a distressing thing to hear that any parent would be any less than thrilled to have any of these girls as their child. 

A Classroom –
the students are studying

Mid-day came, and we headed out for lunch again to the place of cabbage and chicken head. Today’s meal of beef and potatoes, sweet and sour pork, and eggplant may have been my favorite. The sweet and sour pork was different from that which I’ve had to date. It was less sticky and sugary.

After lunch, my campus tour continued from the prior day, and I got to see inside of the University buildings, including my brother’s classrooms.
Then, having been advised that I had truly seen it all, we headed back to Kiely’s to play yet more Bust a Move. This is where the tournament begins. We played for nearly three hours. Don’t worry, we can stop playing, really.
The Bus!

We had dinner plans that evening with two of my brother’s best students, Jessie and Emily, and we met them at the school gate at 1845, before heading into the city via bus. They brought me moon cakes, which was a wonderful surprise. The only time I had eaten moon cake before was in New York, and I hadn’t particularly enjoyed it, but these were delicious.

Dinner was excellent. We let the girls do the ordering. One of the restaurant managers kept coming up and just staring at us, so I did all one can really do and smile.

*Pigs Feet!*

The first dish arrived, and Emily advised that we should ask for gloves because it was much easier and neater that way. We each received a plastic glove, and indeed, so much ease! I took my first bite. It was flavorful and fatty, but not in a greasy way. I rightly assumed it to be pork.
 When I asked Jessie what the dish was called, expecting the name in Mandarin, she and Emily gleefully replied, “pigs feet!”

Their reply was such I felt like I was in the scene in a film where a person has just been alerted that they are eating something they really wouldn’t find OK. Surprise!
Thing was, I didn’t mind. It was delicious. Pigs feet are very popular with women, it seems, as the girls told me that eating them is suppose to give you radiant skin and have a benefit that was to be our secret, as they were too shy to tell me while Kiely was in earshot. (make you chesty).
Emily (L), Jessie (R), and I after dinner

The next dishes were also wonderful. There was a vegetable dish and a chicken dish. Chinese meals are served family style, with everything shared, and this was no exception. I also learned that many restaurants charge for napkins, so you should take the package with you when you leave. The napkins at this restaurant (1 yuan) smelled like jasmine, and I have kept them in my suitcase ever since.

We decided to walk back to the University after dinner, and along the way, we passed a funeral. Emily explained a bit of how a Chinese funeral differs from a Western one. The night before, the friends and family get together and play music, sing, eat, play mah jong, etc, and they do this until very late at night. The next day, they wake early and continue. White is typically worn by the immediate family at the burial in the form of a white wrap over regular clothes.
My dragon is the green one on the left,

We picked up provisions for our train ride en route and after saying goodnight to the girls, headed to Kiely’s to finish up our packing in time for our taxi at 2300.

While we didn’t play Bust a Move, we did decide to pack the controllers and load the Playstation emulator with our saved game onto my laptop.

Addicted? Us? No. I just need to catch up on the 15 point lead Kiely has on me!


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