East Meets West – Day 4

This morning 桂兰 and I met her friend and had morning tea (zao cha) together. It wasn’t just a few cups of tea. It was an array of smaller dishes (dumplings, cake, sweet buns, etc…) and tea on the side. I liked this kind of breakfast. Usually I’m more of a cereal bar kind of guy, but I’ll take exception when it comes to morning tea.

Today we were going to climb Bai Yun Shan (White Cloud Mt.). I was a little concerned about 桂兰’s foot. It was still hurting her to walk on it. I did offer to carry her on my back, but I had a feeling after climbing the mountain, she might be the one who needed to carry me on her back. Needless to say, we didn’t race up the mountain.

It was a cloudy, sunny day in the 80s. I’m glad some of the trees offered shade or we would have been drenched in sweat by the time we reached the top of the mountain. Towards the top, we made it to a resting point where you can watch people bungee jump off the mountain.

There was this blue metallic crane that jutted out over the valley a couple hundred feet below. Those who wished to die (I mean, bungee jump) walked out on the crane structure to the tip, were harnessed by a worker, and then jumped off the edge.

I was nearly traumatized watching them fling themselves off the structure. Some went feet first, while others went head first. I think I would scream like a small child if I jumped head first off the crane. But more power to those who need the next adrenaline rush. Both guys and girls were bungee jumping. Most of them seemed to be college students. I guess studies were getting too boring for them.

After the bungee jumping spectacle, 桂兰 and I found a panoramic view of Guangzhou. It would have been nicer if it weren’t so foggy. But it was rainy season here. So I wasn’t too surprised. We sat down and ate some fruit. 桂兰 made me eat some greenish Chinese fruit. I expected it to be like an apple. It tasted like a bitter grapefruit with some white, nutty mush inside. Needless to say, it’s not on the top ten list of my favorite fruits.

For dinner, we went back to her house to have a jiaozi (dumplings) party. After buying the necessary ingredients, we were ready to make jiaozi. The ladies prepared the fillings while I passively sat on a stool and watched. Then we began spooning the filling into each circular flour slice and folding it together to keep the filling inside. Then it was time to boil the jiaozi.

Let’s just say it’s been a while since I’ve made jiaozi. I was glad when there weren’t any holes left after making my jiaozi. The ladies put my jiaozi to shame, although I would say they all tasted very good. Once the jiaozi was boiled, we sat down to enjoy the jiaozi feast. With a little vinegar, soy sauce, and red peppers, we were ready to feast on the jiaozi. Frankly, I was just excited to be eating.

After dinner, 桂兰 played the guitar and sang some songs for us. Basically she taught herself how to play the guitar, and I’m not sure if anyone taught her how to sing. I thought she had a beautiful voice. I’m glad she didn’t ask me to sing. I had hoped to play the piano for her that night, but the piano shop was closed. Perhaps another day.

My brain was shutting down again. It was time to leave.

This entry was posted in Travel.

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