Sunday, October 12, 2014

Starkey Mission to China, 2014 - Day 6

Kunming to Chuxiong, China

Today was travel day. We started out the day easy with a relatively late checkout and then took a bus to the Kunming Ethnic Village for a brief tour. 

This local tourist attraction features 25 different ethnicities from the Kunming area (there are actually over 50 of them). It was a dreary day but the rain held off and we had a great morning touring the ethnic village and shopping for souvenirs. I bought a bracelet for Rhiannon and managed to haggle down to almost half the original asking price. It was likely still over-priced, but I felt good about the transaction.

After the tour we got back onto the bus for the 2 hour journey from Kunming to Chuxiong. The countryside was phenomenal. The terrain is very mountainous and we saw many, many locals out in the fields. I was surprised to see that the main crop by far is corn. I tried to snap some pictures through the bus window but they do not do justice to the sheer magnitude of the landscape. It was quite a sight to behold. The farms for the most part are worked by hand. I saw the occasional roto-tiller and the odd donkey or ox pulling a plow and many people laboring in the fields stacking wheat sheaves and tilling the earth.

We arrived in Chuxiong around 4:30 pm to a line of traditionally dressed people welcoming us to the hotel. The hotel is once again quite nice, though much smaller and less opulent than the last one. Everyone commented on the round bed and throne-like toilet. I'm just glad it was a sit down model and not the "crouching tiger hidden feces" version that was in the lobby washrooms (which made for a funny story - right, Britta? ;)

Chuxiong is a completely different city from Kunming. After we got settled we went out for dinner at a local restaurant and had fried pork (which was amazing), noodles, crispy duck, and lots of wine. Rosaline helped to order the food and Dennis paid for everyone (again). I hope he is claiming all of this as a business expense...

After dinner we went for a walk in the streets of Chuxiong to see the sights and do some shopping. What a night life this place has! There is basically a small carnival set up in the streets and there are tons of small vendors selling jewelry, clothing, and lots of different types of food, including goat meat. In fact we saw more than one vendor with a goat strung up and being butchered on the spot.

After walking around for about 90 minutes, I bought a scarf for one of the ladies in my life (OK, my mom or grandmother) and headed back to the hotel to pack it in and call it a night. It's off to bed early to be well rested for our first day of fittings in Chuxiong!

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