We are going to get right into this next segment of my summer travels without dwelling on the absolute eons that have passed since my last update. In this segment – hangin’ out w/ my bb brudder + my grandpa’s 80th birthday + a visit to my great-grandparents’ graves.
When we last checked in, we flew from Yinchuan to Kunming, which is the capital of the Yunnan province where my dad’s side of the family is from. It’s nicknamed the ‘spring city’ because of its agreeable weather, in that it “always feels like spring” and is not too cold and not too hot. That is absolute bullshit, as far as I’m concerned. Spring city my ass. That place gets COLD in the winter! I was way salty about that during my gap year when I spent time there. False advertising. Still a lovely place, but false advertising.
OK moving on clearly I’m still not over feeling victimized by weather 3 years ago
First things first after getting off a plane and setting your bags down – eating!! My grandparents and my aunt cooked this delicious table of food for us. Hot top if anyone’s ever in the Yunnan province, it’s known for its amazing wild mushrooms. There’s like a billion kinds, all are delicious, some are very expensive, and I could eat them forever.
My brother and I also wanted to eat rice noodles (米线/mixian), so we went to a lil shop outside my grandparents’ apartment to stuff our faces some more. One problem with Chinese food in China is that it’s really fucking spicy, especially in the southern provinces, and I can’t handle my spice. So I guess that’s the problem with me, huh? Anyway, that’s why my noodles broth is clear and my brother’s bowl is all red and yummy looking. (The underpants are a thing I saw and LOL’ed at, bc putting ‘greedy little bear’ on your genitals is an opportunity rife for sexual innuendo, and I’m not sure they were going for that.)
One of the main things we came back for this visit was my grandpa’s 80th birthday, for which we went out for a nize dinner.
On this trip, I took photos of every meal we had and sent them to my boyfriend, because 1) I missed him and 2) food is our love language.
(This barrel says ‘wine’ on it. Wouldn’t that be, like, a fun keg stand design? Idk just throwin out ideas here)
We went to a fancy shmancy restaurant with very Extra decor. Walking on top of rocks to get over a stream on the way to your table is rough going when you never ever wear heels and thus don’t know how to properly walk in them, but decided to tonight.
Me grandpa’s birthday cake! I’m not a huge cake person to begin with, but I don’t super enjoy Chinese cakes. It’s very heavy on the cream and fruit and feels…bouncy? Fluffy? in a way that I don’t enjoy. Looks cute tho, right? (For the record, my cake opinions should not be trusted. I’m really into, like, Marks and Spencer’s or even Sainsbury’s cakes.)
Here’s a gr8 photo of me lowkey burning myself with hot water. Idk if this is a Chinese grandma thing or just a my Chinese grandma thing, but she doesn’t like to run hot water from the tap for washing up, so she’ll boil it and stick it in a big thermos type thing. Then she’ll disapprovingly aiyaaa until her grandkids agree to wash their feet with it.
So the next day we started out early to drive to my great grandparents graves. I’ve no idea where it was, but it was a long ass drive and I drooled all over my brother’s legs when I fell asleep.
We’ve arrived! My great grandparents are buried in a construction yard! Just kidding. They’re buried on a mountain side, along with a bunch of other people they probably knew, and their descendants have to take a lil hike and get lost many times to get to them.
Something I perhaps should not broadcast on the Internet in case someone kidnaps me and uses my worst fear against me but that I’m going to go ahead and say anyway, is that there were spiders everywhere, of every size. I mean, it’s a mountain, it makes sense that they’re there, it’s their fucking home, but I was terrified.
We made it! Not a shabby gravestone, right?
After we burned everything we brought (a Chinese funerary practice that I think I explained before), we headed back home.
While I was in China, my boyfriend and I talked via WeChat, which is the Chinese messaging app that every single Chinese person ever uses. (Also Facebook, Google, etc are blocked.) They have great stickers, like this ebullient fat hamster w/ a leek (?) for hair.
Ken and I went out for food, as we like to do – this is 黄焖鸡 (huang men ji), which is a dish of braised chicken with vegetables served with rice. Highly recommend!!!
My grandparents’ apartment is next to a kindergarten, which has this terrifying barbed wire fencing and looks real creepy at night.
And so we don’t end on a scary kindergarten, here’s a Huji pic of our finished noodles from earlier! Thx for reading see u next time~