Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blog 4: Kunming

Today we travelled from Beijing to Kunming in the Yunnan Province, a very different feeling city. It's still awfully hot, but there's a lot more trees and the air seems much cleaner. I'm still shocked that the beautiful canals running through Kunming and most of the cities it seems, are loaded with trash and effluvia...but they look pretty at night. I just wouldn't want to take a romantic gondola ride down one! (You know the saying, "....without a paddle"?)

Our new guide/translator is Fran. She's a very accomplished young woman, a former power plant engineer who I swear must be legally blind. She had us cross the street with two busses coming from both directions. I had to stand tiptoe on the middle line and clench my butt cheeks to avoid being logrolled between them. We figured out she was Mrs. Magoo soon afterward at the restaurant when she had to put her nose right on the menu to read it! Now I lead her and the gang through any and all street crossings. Oh, and she learned all her English from watching "Friends". She really likes the "Chandler" character and pronounces "reeeealy" just like him. (Think the millionaire on Gilligan's Island). It's reeealy funny coming out of her mouth.

So...this restaurant used to be a railroad station way back around 100 years ago. They served some really "special" items including two kinds of insect larvae. Denis & Eric really dug into the ones with the eyes! Myself, I was able to choke down one small one...just to say I did it. O.K.- I did it. Yeccchhh!

Tomorrow we are slated to go to "The Stone Forest" and play a little improv amongst the incredible rock formations.


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