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Gulang Yu

sunny 36 °C
View SE Asia & India on asprey's travel map.

We found out that the next train to Shanghai was 6 days away and although this was a cool little town we really couldn’t afford to stay here that long. A Chinese guy called Carlos could speak some English and told us Fuzhou was the answer, “Fuzhou to Shanghai, ten trains a day, bullet train very fast, fastest train in china.”

“Those snogging kids are freaking me out,” said Sarah, “we have to get out of Pedo-Plaza!” So we headed over to Xiamen to sort out train tickets and some alternative digs.

At the station we bought tickets to Fuzhou, 2 hours, then tickets to Shanghai, 6 hours. A hell of a lot better that the 27 hour slow train we’d been trying to get on.

Within half an hour we’d found a cool little hotel much better and cheaper than Pedo-Plaza, and more importantly, no weird kiddie pictures, so we booked for the following night.

“I’m starving but I don’t want anything to eat!” I knew exactly what Sarah meant. If you think you like Chinese food because you have a take away once a week, go to South China and see if you can find anything that doesn’t make your stomach churn.

We walked into the nearest restaurant and as usual not one-person spoke English, after all why would they? We’d not seen a westerner in a week. All the menus and writing was in Chinese so after ten minutes of pointing, making chicken noises and trying out the few Chinese words we thought we knew (and now realise we don’t) we were no further on.

Desperate times call for desperate measures so I stood up and beckoned the girl to follow me. I walked through the back of the restaurant and into the kitchen, giving to two cooks a shock as I burst in. As the confused waitress looked on I picked up a pan of rice and nodded, then I picked an egg off the shelf and nodded, then a bunch of spring onions and vegetables. Then for the grand finale to my little charade I flapped my arms making a chickens noise as the two cooks and the waitress stared at me open mouthed.

Ten minutes later we were tucking into chicken fried rice with mixed vegetables. Sorted. Sarah had wanted spicy shrimp glass noodle soup (but not too spicy) but I thought that was a bit advanced even for my communication skills.

In the evening, back on Gulang Yu Island we went for a walk, somehow wondering into a cave, which, after ten minutes walking bought us out on the other side of the Island. It was like a secret passageway to a lost world, everything was different over there. Tiny streets lined with Portuguese and Victorian buildings.
The locals ate their food, bathed their kids and played Chinese checkers in the street as we wondered amongst them. We just walked for hours talking about life. I loved every minute of it.

Posted by asprey 06:30 Archived in China Tagged food

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