It has been a while since you last heard about our adventures, and rightfully so. A lot has happened, the world has changed.
Starting with Friday, some of us rediscovered the joys of an especially early start to the day. Endeavouring to rise up early and dress up warmly we braved the still lingering cold of the night to venture out to the outskirts of Yongchun, seeking out the fabled morning market. To cut a long story short we finally arrived – possibly loosing one or two heads along the way, but we did not count.
What can be said about the Massive Morning Market? It is not quite as massive as the name might suggest, but still a sight to see: Meat freshly butchered on display everywhere, more motorcycles and bicycles buzzing around the place than pedestrians walking, and vendors absolutely refusing to sell you small amounts and trying to give you at least twice as much as you asked for. We stopped for some steamy sweet, sweet peanut soup served with fried devils to appease our stomachs. After roaming some of the vending stands (found some lovely mushrooms), we embarked on the long and treacherous journey back to the hotel.
Five minutes later we were back.
Because just a bowl of soup can not possibly be enough, we stopped for the typical breakfast – a bowl of konji / rice porridge, some pickled vegetables, a boiled egg, varieties of peanut products, etc. Then off to training.
Some amazing morning training later, we were invited to a feast worthy of a king – in China also commonly known as a typical Chinese lunch. Then off to training.
Some fantabulous afternoon training later, we went upstairs (the author has flashbacks of never ending, snowy stairs) to enjoy the real experience, steamboat as it should be. That means a delicious meal of ‘Make your inner peace with the twitching shrimp you are about to boil and then eat.’ Maybe unusual, definitely delicious.
At the end of the day some decided, after a long day of solitary training, that they did not enjoy enough inter-human, physical contact. So they went for a massage.
Let that speak for itself.
(The author craves for some oranges at the moment)
As for Saturday, after the usual breakfast some of us decided that life is too stationary, given the nomad lifestyle we enjoyed earlier.
So all of us changed rooms.
Then we had magnificent morning practice. All the usual: people scurrying by, put off by what we might be doing; people stopping and gazing at us for a while, wondering or perhaps knowing what we might doing; some even daring enough to take pictures of us.
After fantastic lunch, perhaps nothing special anymore, we rested – some of us might have secretly gathered to have some good coffee.
Scurrying off to phenomenal afternoon training, we faced beloved stage fright. Whether a problem for you or not, all of us needed to perform patterns in front of all the others.
When the time came for dinner, the time had come for some true facts about spring rolls. Plain facts can deceiving. For example, it is fact that one spring roll is not a lot and not too big. But it is a true fact that, after already having eaten six, a spring roll looks the size of a horse – very tasty, but humongous. For those of you who know, no records were even close to being broken.
(It is at this point that the author realised the value of great company, and had nostalgic memories of the sea)
Finally to Sunday, the last full day of training. Mixed feelings hit us (the author thinks), a battle in our minds between being ready to return and being used to staying.
The usual breakfast, the typically great morning training. Honestly. This time we got to push each other around, for the sake of training of course, to work on stance and hands. Then lunch – the quiet before the storm.
Summon your strength one more time for patterns for some lovely afternoon practice. There are also pictures to be taken, some by people coming through, and of course there is a club photo.
Whatever we thought, we were not prepared for what was to come for dinner. There was so much great food, some cultures consider it morally wrong. Luckily not China.
As the last evening in China, there were the typical farewells, see-you-until-next-times, Chinese teas. There was also the traditionally Chinese shoving gifts at each other while refusing to take gifts for yourself.
A marvellous time.
At this point, the author would like to thank the audience for their attention and interest – whether genuine or fake – in this story of romance, deceit, tragedy, war & peace, comedy, and of course a healthy portion of Kung Fu.
From China With Love,