I was lucky. My friend and I had been talking about me visiting her in her hometown of Dali. It took us one year to actually make it happen but when it did, I got the whole experience in the four days I spend in the south western corner of China called Yunnan which is also the gateway to South East Asia.
After a canceled plane, I finally arrived in the province capital called Kunming. I stayed for a day before taking a train to my friend’s hometown. I arrived just when it looked like the sky was falling down on us. The grey, wet and stormy weather was over us when I found my friend’s friend who took me to my friend’s house.
Arriving at my friend’s family home, I was stunned by the size of the house. Three floors decorated in Chinese furniture and design. Two cute dogs were sleeping outside and my friend’s parents welcomed me with happy smiles and open arms. I felt lucky to have met her on a normal day in Chinese class more than a year ago.
We went out to eat immediately when I arrived because that’s the most important for the Chinese. The food! That’s what they always talk about so off we took to a nearby restaurant where they ordered the most random dishes. I couldn’t eat half of it because the red hot chili was sailing around in the dishes. Just one look at it and I knew that I was feeling full already. Things I did taste included pig brain and pig ears. Not a fan of both I can conclude.
The second day in town we went to see another family member who had a restaurant where we ate way too much food. I quite liked the flavor down there in Yunnan which is good because I’m always nervous of not being able to eat enough when everyone’s so nice to cook for me or by food for me.
In Chinese life, the most important thing is to serve the best food for guests so my stomach which is quite sensitive was on a bit of a mission. It did work out pretty well most of the time even though there were a few incidents where I just couldn’t handle more. But I’m proud of myself because I did eat Chinese food four days in a row without craving McDonald’s once so that was a good experience.