killbodyeatsoul


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"counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drum"
A Perfect Circle

Food dump, round two, random order, best story first.

Sadly didn't get around to have me some of the famous hot pot when I was in Sichuan, so I hit the first one I saw on my first evening in Xian. And made a total fool of myself %) All the ones I saw before had you stick your items on some spikes and put them into the boiling oil, pull em out some time later and enjoy them. This was different in that you just loosely threw our stuff in (I ordered lotus root, tofu, yams, mushroom, potato – and beef which they forgot) and fish it out with your chopsticks. Didn't have any problems whatsoever handling the sticks until this meal and haven't had any since, but all the shit I had was cut thin and flat and very much impossible to get out the pot again. Even more so when it was super oily. So after watching me struggle the helpful waiter gave me lots of advice and instructions – fruitless – and in the end really showed the patience to stand by my side and get all the stuff out for me. One by one. I did manage the shrooms by myself, though. And then he even declined a tip …



After the spoiled hot pot experience it was still raining heavily on my first day in Xian, but I didn't want to go to bed, yet so I stopped by in a neat whisky bar. Got myself a double on the rock when one of the guys working there struck a conversation with me. He goes by the name Fox, really  nice dude. Told me he worked at a hostel for quite a while and was super suprised when I told him where I was from. "None of the Germans I've met were smiling!" (= After some chatting he asked me if I've been out to see the Mid-Autumn Festival (The one I've heard about earlier) and told me that it's been going on the night before. People take into the streets and dance with large dragon figures and all that good stuff, aah man, I missed it! But also there's the tradition of buying these moon cakes for your family and close friends and eat them together to wish each other luck and such. I've seen a lot of ads of those on the subway, didn't give it any further thought, of course. So he went to the back and brought out a box of these! :D
The cakes are very heavy so it stuffs you up real fast. They're filled with some fruity substance, and they actually taste very good!



These were great, just picked one of the dumpling images from the menu and scored a very good filling. If I had to guess it was small bricks of tofu, minced meat, spinache, onions and chives amongst others. If the waiters are afraid the sauce is too hot for you, because you only dip it in halfway, they often get you another one: 100% garlic – just as good!




This was some weird wrap-thingy with chicken and a witless salad filling topped with regular ketchup. 0/10 would buy again.



Got this  bread-like waffle with chives and stuff from the same guy, was way better.



This was a bigger serving than it seems and really delicious. Stirred egg, cold tomatoes and green stuff and super broad noodles. Check out that tiny-ass gone-in-two-gulps plastic cup they gave me for the beer ;D



This was kinda interesting, the left bowl was filled with cold seedlings and morchella, the right one had dry, fried noodles with bacon as crispy as egg shell. Was good, though.



Love me some peanuts in about everything.



I present y'all: My new favourite ice cream! I braced myself for a big disappointment after picking this by the picture on the box, but I couldn't've been more happy to be in the wrong.
What you see here is just the tip of the iceberg. Inside the crispy strawberry-sprinkled white-chocolate coating the inner workings start off with some semi-frozen Nimm2-like substance, later followed by a second stage of coating – chocolate with crunchy crisps – that surround a core of strawberry ice cream.
I often find myself getting carried away thinking of ways I could get a container of this through the customs at Hamburg port and up the Elbe.



Peanuts, hot kung pao, celery, endless stream of white tea, nuff said.



Can't even remember what's in this, but I do remember being fully satisfied and stuffed to the brim after indulging in it.



The hotel in Kunming didn't serve breakfast so I had to go out and see what's on the morning menu in the streets for the first time. Got this and it was really okay, some meaty filling in a yeast-or-whatever dumpling.



Weird image cause it looks kinda flat, but this actually had a huge heap of rice underneath. The joint I got this in was in Xian and you could hear someone singin in a Turkic language in the backroom. Made perfect sense with this dish, the combination and spices weren't like all the other food I had here, almost very familiar.



Spicy, good and topped off with Snow Beer. The looks you get when you decline a cup …



This was everything all at once. Dragon fruit, mango, several types of melon, lychee, three kinds of syrup on top and I don't know what else. But that wasn't even it. The bowl was first filled with crushed ice so you start out with a fruit salad that slowly turns into a slushy and becomes water-ice in the end. Quite fancy and refreshing.
And I suppose the two spoons were meant as a good intended hint :0



Mmmh, nothing to write home about. Other than people here don't seem to order drinks with their food and Fanta isn't Fanta at all.



Umm, well. It poured outside and my shoes were already dripping so I took my chance with the restaurant at the hotel. They actually had an app on a tablet with images to pick from and while I was waiting for my choice to arrive I noticed there was a wedding party going on in the other room. They had to escort a girl out who couldn't even stand up straight no more and several times men and adolescents roamed the area while chanting and navigating their path around the columns, that was actually fun to witness.
My dish then looked nothing like I remembered the picture. The rice had the firmness of old pudding and was speckled with parts of fried sausage. Tasted like an insult. "Ate" a quarter and left my money on the table.



The other night I ordered a basic rice and greenery dish when another guy sat behind me and we got into a conversation via his WeChat voice-to-text app. He then ordered this good stuff – with too spoons so I could also have some bites of the taste! Next day I went to the kitchen and showed them this image to get that same thing myself :D Thanks buddy!



You already know, it's good, hot, spicy noodles, peanuts, some other stuff and a nice broth to sip on on the side.



Fuck yeah, a potato thing! Didn't even need to think once before I headed over to the stand to grab one of these once I saw 'em.



Ooooh how wicked it felt when I discovered these things. And they had them right around my corner! The single very best breakfast replacement I've had over here! It was kinda like a bread-roll relative soaked in egg, sprinkled with cives.



Not too sure what kind of dough the lady fried there, but she assured me it's very good. Alright then :D It was filled with spinach and green stuff and it actually was good, apart from the heavy oil taste.



Last and least. I think I found that fucking jelly whale-barf shit I had back in Chengdu. So glad I got that experience over with.

19919   |   photo travel text 中国 云南 贵州 陝西 food

Can you believe it? They were actually flying my flag when my lift descended down to Earth again! (':

11919   |   中国 云南 photo sign flag

Until that point the day has been full of unexpected surprises but there still were two more to come. Yesterday I read on a local city guide that a Norwegian Band called Sturle Dagsland were about to play and they were giving away two free tickets. So yeah, I won them! Awesome, would've gone anyway, cause they described the guys as a pretty excentric and unique mixture of all kinds of the-good-kind-of-weird shit and I'm always up for that.

So the other surprise was that it was impossible to locate the venue D:< After coming down from the Western Hills Park I actually took a taxi ride through the district where it was supposed to go down. They built smaller versions of the Eiffel Tower and other stuff around there and the venue was supposed to be in the Contemporary Gallery of Kunming. Was trying to spot that the other day for an exhibition already, but no map of mine had it. So I went into the vicinity an hour early, hired a moto rider to drive me there. Four lanes, only vehicle, tach maxed to 50km/h and of course: no helmet. (I don't think there are any, haven't seen a single solitary person wearing one now that I think of it). Cool ride anyhow. And of course Yours Truly, aka the Western Haggler Baron got a sweet "discount" again.

But no sign of the Arc de Triomphe or the gallery anywhere in sight. Asked a lot of people, policemen, security guards around to no avail. ): Really hope their music sucks, cause I feel that I've just missed out on a really great gig.

And now half of my journey is already behind me. It. Is. So. Unfathomable. Awesome. Over. Here. I'm having such a blast and I can't even believe I could do all of this one time over again, or what other experiences this country could have in store for me. My time in Yunnan got a bit slanted by the unusual, untimely rain, but nevertheless it's been tremendously great and beautiful around these parts. And I even got to accomplish Project Peacock way ahead of scheduled time. ;)

Tomorrow morning then I'll be boarding the bullet train up to Guiyang, capital of Guizhou. Watch me!

11919   |   中国 云南 photo city water lake sky cloud

The rain didn't even come and I was relieved to finally get some more hours of sweet shunshine. Western Hills Park then turned out to be another huge scenic area, some even dare call it the greatest in Central Yunnan. As I've learned to respect my knees I opted for a bus/cable car combi-ticket. Best choice, even more so when it got really, really warm and the path was several kilometres long and at times very steep. I love me a good cable car ride and this one was the best of my journey so far. It was a old trusty, open, metal bench carriage and took a good 15 minutes through and over densely forested mountains while the whole city was in view half of the time. 2400m a.s.l. I jumped out and took the walk all the way down again. The whole ordeal was nothing short of spectacular. I came by many small pavillions, shrines enclosed in the rock face, an insane abundance of subtropical flora on a winding, narrow path – at times carved directly out of the cliff – leading to awe inspiring vistas connected by tiny grottoes. I don't even …

11919   |   中国 云南 photo religion temple sculpture demon god

Initially I wanted to spend my last day in Yunnan by taking the train West to Dali, but because of the announced torrential rain I decided to ride the subway to its Western terminal called Western Hills Park, just to enjoy some nature as long as the weather would allow. Coincidentally there was also an exhibition hall that I read about earlier so without any second guessing I went in to experience Wheel of Life by Chinese artist Zhang Youkui and Kim Sunjin from South Korea. There were a lot of items shown through a very nice gallery and everything was completely made out of synthetic material.
This one's an excerpt of Nowhere to Go made by Zhang.

11919   |   中国 云南 photo sculpture human woman man plastic

Today was a bit weird. Shortly after the morning rain ceded I hit the city and shortly after got stopped by a group of students. They asked me if they could do a short video for their "very good and popular" QQ-or-whatever-channel with me. It was somehow connected to the apparently ongoing Mid-Autumn Festival. Sure thing!
Finally, my moment to go viral! ✌

11919   |   photo 中国 云南 human woman man hand

"We're not in Chengdu anymore!"

10919   |   中国 云南 photo city street human

Tissues and towels dried my shoes just enough to dive into the city this morning to seek out Huan Huan's shop Psycho Graphics. Took me some looking around alleys and a detour through the Yunnan Normal University campus to spot it, but it was closed. The nice couple in the equally infamous counter culture bookstore right next to it then proceeded to tell me it has closed down for good. :'( What a bummer, I was so looking forward to check out all that wild swag. Hope I can find something in the same vein in Guiyang or Xi'an later on.

Continued my random walk through the surrounding district and came upon this large wet market. Of course they offered a lot more than one could imagine and at the same time it didn't cross me as messy or smelly or anything in that direction at all.

Maybe a good opportunity for a fun fact: There's these huge posters everywhere entitled "Civilized Kunming". Thought that this was their slogan, but now I found out that it's actually about getting rewarded an official seal from the government. There's only three provincial capitals left that can't hold the title of being civilized, Kunming being one of them. From what I've caught on to so far it involves fighting triad crimes – you should see the posters encouraging that one, cleaning up the urban environment, banning fences and street vendors, guiding paths for the blind and apparently also closing down wet markets like this one.

10919   |   中国 云南 photo human food plant

After I arrived back from the Stone Forest and stepped off the Metro a thunderstorm hovered over the city and it began pouring cats and dogs. I was soaked to the bones within seconds and streams began running down the hilly streets of Kunming turning the last leg of the tour into a track and field run. Because my only pair of shoes turned to sponges and it rained the whole night through, I couldn't even go out to get some dinner. So I went down to the girls at the reception that don't speak a word of Engrish if I could order something to the hotel. They weren't into that idea for some reason, but could offer me a huge bucket of instant noodles from their own stash. Well, alright then :P

Today's weather was just about the same and the forecast says it's gonna continue that way all over South West China and even get worse. Guess I struck April in the City of Eternal Spring.

And writing of shoes … the guy from the skate shop told me I probably won't find any my size in the whole country.

10919   |   云南 中国 photo city building roof

Made it to Shilin county and spent the day at the scenic Stone Forest. It's one of the AAAAA Scenic Areas of China and it deserves that classification without any question! It rained and drizzled all of the time, but that didn't take away any of the tremendous beauty of the landscape. Can't even spell it out, just have a glimpse.

P.S.: Shout out to past-me for packing that rain cape I got back in '09 and only ever put to use once until now.

9919   |   photo 中国 云南 mountain rock plant tree forest

9919   |   photo 中国 云南 rock plant tree forest

9919   |   photo 中国 云南 landscape mountain rock plant tree forest

9919   |   photo 中国 云南 landscape mountain rock plant tree forest

Today I went to the waterfront where Daguan Pavillion is located. To my surprise it turned out to be mixed in with a kind of amusement park. Lots of boat rides, costume vendors and the likes in between huge lotus lakes. I'm lucky to still hit the end of the flowering season, it's just so beautiful. And by the way: lotus root was one of my favourite parts of the hotel breakfast in Chengdu.

One of the pavillions held a lot of these wooden reliefs. Unfortunately Engrish information is mostly provided at the entrance of such rooms and rarely for individual pieces.

8919   |   photo 中国 云南 云南 me_irl wood relief human man beard animal bird cloud plant tree leaf flight

Today I went to the waterfront where Daguan Pavillion is located. To my surprise it turned out to be mixed in with a kind of amusement park. Lots of boat rides, costume vendors and the likes in between huge lotus lakes. I'm lucky to still hit the end of the flowering season, it's just so beautiful. And by the way: lotus root was one of my favourite parts of the hotel breakfast in Chengdu.

One of the pavillions held a lot of these wooden reliefs. Unfortunately Engrish information is mostly provided at the entrance of such rooms and rarely for individual pieces.

8919   |   photo 中国 云南 云南 me_irl wood relief human man beard animal bird cloud plant tree leaf flight

Folks love their water pipes around here. First time I've seen one was an artifact made from bamboo on display in the Sichuan Museum. Curiously though, they tend to smoke regular cigs through it :O This is the most elaborate one I came across, most of them look like they're built from empty fruit cans.

The park I've shot this in was packed all day. People get their hair cut, play their trick-taking card games, play traditional string instruments and gather round to get entertained by very loud Schlager-like performers. You have to be agile to catch a spot where less than four of those overlap, quite the experience.

8919   |   photo 中国 云南 human woman man smoke

Damnit, I had that smudge on my lens all day and didn't bother to check even once :F Great temple, nonetheless. And it's not often you're allowed to take photos of the painted clay statues of the immortals.

8919   |   photo 中国 云南 architecture temple water flag