February 06, 2007

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
I promise I'll give you the real answer by the end of this post.
I went on the touristy cormorant fishing tour last night. You hop on a boat around 8:00PM boat and watch a man go fishing using his cormorant birds and a light bulb. It's a traditional technique that has been used for ages, and although it's mainly for the tourists in Yangshuo, it is still used by some farmers in more remote areas of China. The water was incredibly clear so you could actually see the cormorants swimming, diving, and catching fish under water. When they find a fish, the guy sometimes lets the bird eat it, and sometimes he pulls a rope on their necks so that they can't swallow. He then pulls the bird onto his bamboo raft, then makes the bird spit the fish into a basket. It's quite efficient actually.
Today I went to the village of XingPing, a bit north of Yangshuo. I took a boat cruise along the Li River with another traveller from my hostel, and the scenery was just gorgeous. It was interesting too because just before we got on the boat the lady told us to take out our 20 Yuan bills (if you've got a 20RMB in your pocket, pull it out too). Hold it up to the picture at the right of this paragraph, and you'll see a striking resemblance -this is where the sketch was made for the the back of the bill.
On to the chicken now. When we got back into XingPing we wandered around some of the back lanes, and peered into old houses with old photos of dead relatives, faded posters of Mao, and vegetables drying on the ground. Eventually we ended up in the middle of town, where the market was in full force (it happens every 4 days). All of a sudden I saw a chicken crossing the street. So, why did the chicken cross the road? My guess is that it was to avoid his fellow cage mate's fate. There were of course lots of live chickens and ducks for sale, as well as pots of fresh blood (you can get them to kill the chicken for you if you want) and shaved animal hair beside a pot of boiling stew.
The minibus ride back was equally interesting with the live cat in a bag, drunk man chewing raw sugar cane, chicken on the roof, and TV set on the floor. Not to mention that the bus was overcrowded (as most are in China), and the the people standing in the aisle had to duck when a police car drove by. The dangling photo of Mao from the rear-view mirror didn't help the second time when we quickly pulled into a parking lot on the road into Yangshuo after the driver spotted another police car. The cops followed, came into the minibus to count the people, then took the driver into their car for a chat. The rest of us just walked the 10 minutes back into town.
Tomorrow night I'm taking a 'sleeper' bus to Guangzhou to visit Adeline for a day or two before heading off to HongKong and Macao!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What awesome photos...and such an interesting trip. Thanks for sharing with us.

Stephen said...

I think I enjoy taking photos too much. It'll take a while for me to sort through them all when I get back and dump them all on my computer.

Anonymous said...

You can never take too many photos...they are such a fantastic momento of your life in China.

Stephen said...

That's true. There's so many moments here that photos can't even capture though. A water buffalo chomping seaweed in the river, a 4 year old kid who lights a firecracker in a pomelo, the live fish brought to your table for approval before being cooked, the smells, ...

Dad said...

Well, Yi Wén, do you ever have a problem now. Do you spend the rest of your life traveling the world, and writing and taking fantastic pictures of exotic location, or do you accept the University of Ottawa's offer of a place in their first year class of the Baccalaureate in Laws (LL.B.) program offered in English for the Fall 2007 session?
Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.
Congratulations!

Stephen said...

Are you serious?

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is not a joking matter.
Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mariah said...

Congratulations!!!

M