To have a break from the stress of work and life, Jet and I decided to go visit a friend in the countryside about 30 minutes away from the city we live in. This friend was actually the security guard in our building. Everyday, he keeps inviting us to his hometown, and we always find excuses not to go… however, Jet was tired of the guy asking so, we agreed to go on Saturday. It seemed they had decided, unbeknownst to me, to leave at 7 am; that is cutting into good Saturday morning sleeping time, but I got up anyway to get ready for this mini adventure.
We drove our E-bike (electric scooter) and followed the guy, who also rode one. We are used to going very fast, however this gentleman is much older close to 65 or so….. so he was going at a snail’s pace it seemed. We eventually got there, I kept track of all the landmarks; because Jet’s mental GPS sucks….. he is always getting us lost. So, I had to pay attention to how we got to where we were going, so we could get back home.
We finally arrived to a nice area that had mountains surrounding it and a river running through the middle of the village. It seemed our friend lived right on the river. He quickly wanted to show us that he had laid nets for fish so we could eat with him. So, he proceeded to take off his pants…. I was quick shocked… so I turned my head and walked a ways away from the two of them.
This obviously was useless.. because he just walked out into the river in just his underwear… I am told this is what country folks do. Jet saw that the guy was pulling his nets and decided he should help, so he also just took off his clothes and handed them to me and walked into the river. Jet is really a nature person, if he sees a body of water he usually starts undressing to go for a swim, so this occasion was nothing out of the normal for him.
While in the river he decided to swim around for a while. I personally was not getting into this river water in my underwear like these guys so I just stayed a shore. Anyway, across the river there were women washing clothes with a big stick. Hitting the clothes against a rock to clean them. I am really not sure how this cleans clothes, but I have seen it done many time since I have been in China. Some even argue it is better than a washing machine. I totally disagree with that, but whatever.
Although I am not a huge fan of nature, I mean come on you seen one tree you have seen them all, I did try to stay positive. At least there were not a lot of people staring and pointing at me. Which is normally what happens in the countryside in China. After a while I realized my phone needed charging, so I walked back to the bike and there is a usb port to charge your phone installed in it. (I know so cool) …. well, that is when the wife of our friend and what looked like his sister and grandmother surrounded me. They were speaking the local dialect so I had a little trouble understanding what they were asking me… I understood enough words to figure out what they were trying to ask me… the normal: Where are you from? Where is your husband from? Do you have children? Do you like China? blah blah blah…… I answered as much has I could in Mandarin and it seemed to satisfy them….thank goodness my husband decided to come back at that time.
My husband informed me that they wanted to call all their friends and family to come over for lunch, he explained the guy wanted to show off the fact that he had a foreign friend. I was not in the mood to be stared at, poked and interrogated by many people so I asked Jet if there was a way to get out of it. yeah.. I am bad…. Jet told them we were going to go sightseeing… however our host refused to let us go alone…. so again back on the bikes to follow him…. he took us to see the water park for kids.. .and across this rickety ass bridge to see some Mongolian style yurts and cabins.
The bridge was crazy, only a cable running under some boards that they just laid across the cable… I was holding on to both sizes of the bridge for dear life. I finally made it across…. which Jet found hilarious…. without injury.
They greeted us with some cold watermelon, I swear Chinese people love watermelon, I don’t know why its a Black people stereotype… I am sure they eat it more than we do. While we were sitting and eating they decided they wanted to bbq… I was not wanting to stay there for hours waiting for bbq since they hadn’t even started the coals yet. Jet then got a phone call… the gods were on our side… he had to go back to work for an emergency…. darn it….hehehe….. we explained that he was called into work and we couldn’t stay any longer. They were terribly disappointed but understood that it was important and work related. Saved by the bell….. literally.
Don’t get me wrong, I like meeting people and I appreciate that they wanted to treat us to BBQ, but it was like 98 degrees and both Jet and I couldn’t understand the dialect they were speaking, I really didn’t feel so comfortable and I think Jet could see it…. also .. country people usually eat a lot of things I am not brave enough to try… so it would have been a vegetarian meal for me.
We apologized blaming the office and said our good byes…. of course he had to escort us to the main street so we wouldn’t get lost….. nice guy…. we made it back in record time… and Jet did stop by the school to open the door for some maintenance guys…. Although, the entire mini adventure only lasted about 5 hours…I was exhausted.
When we got home finally, I turned on the air conditioner and laid down…. fell quickly asleep…. for like 3 hours….!!! I know… I was just going to take a nap…. I guess country life isn’t really for me…. it is very tiring being in the sun, translating in your head …. what people are saying to you for 5 hours…. but I have to say… Thank you to the guy that invited us…. we appreciate it … even if we only went to make you stop asking every time we see you.
Until next time….