Then, we went to eat an entirely vegetarian meal at a buddhist temple. Monks get to run “nonprofit” organizations, but somehow, they decide to charge 150 RMB a person for admission. Food was good, but completely oil soaked to make up for the lack of meat–they didn’t give many veggies in their veggie form.
Oh–I’ve gained 8 pounds, I think. Probably a combination of being forced into drinking fruit juices (they don’t have the concept of cold water) and eating fried stuff. Usually people manage to bring me a glass of hot water, which I spoon into the soup bowl to cool, but they never refill it, probably thinking that it was juice that was paid for by the cup. Also, since breakfast is included in the room rate, I eat probably the equivalent of a week’s worth of breakfast in one meal. Funny thing, I still gravitate toward the toast and jam–besides my requisite soymilk and occasional tureen of ginger congee, I don’t voluntarily eat plain or mung bean (“green bean”) congee for breakfast. Also interestingly, it’s the only meal where they have cabbage. Restaurants aren’t a fan of it, I guess.
On the topic of food..After we ate, we headed toward a hot spring whose specialty is that little fish come to eat your dead skin, biting you. After being greeted by dozens of partially dressed, unstalled female bodies (true communist fashion) in the changing room, I dipped a few legs into the tepid water. The first thing I noted was the mass of green fishpoop that I stirred up; then, the fish started biting. Biting me. At first, their little lips felt like prickly, itchy needles, but my tolerance built by the end of the first hour; by the 15th minute, my mom’s legs had acquired an opaque covering of little conniseurs. [She apparently has more dead skin than I do and twitches less; I never got such a thick coating.]
Unfortunately, they didn’t allow cameras–anything that could be taken into the hotspring had to be appropriate for the dressing room too. Conveniently, this allowed them to charge 30 bucks for a picture. Ergo, I have no pictures.
Aunt Corn is called Aunt Corn because her name (yu min) sounds like the words for corn (yu mi). The difference of a nasal has not protected her from the many jokes; nota bene: “Yu” is not “yew”–think french “u”. Pucker your mouth (“ooooo”) and flatten your tongue against the top of your mouth (“eeeeee”). The u actually should have an umlaut.
After that, we slightly descended the mountain to feed the deer at the deer park. It was kind of a terraced smelly dung-covered area with large hairy animals, but feeding them was fun–they sure like their grass. There was a funny deer who appeared to have a runny nose–they tranquilized, bound, and crated him somewhere, telling us that they were taking it down the mountain, and that it wasn’t ill.
The rest of the day was spent in the city: mainly, we bought tropical fruit, dried seafood, and trinkets. I bought a set of island-print thingies–for the price, they fit well enough. [to put it another way: if I gained 64 pounds, it would still probably fit and look just the same.] Will post pictures of the fruit.
Mosquito bite count: 5