roadside noodles

Our good friends Curry and Erica invited us to come and visit their family in Guilin for the weekend.  This would be my first time visiting as a guest in a Chinese household and I was both curious and excited to see firsthand how a Chinese family lived.  Curry picked us up in his mini-van early and we hit the road.  We took the “scenic” drive over the hills on the back roads and once we were clear of the mountains around Yangshuo (photo above), we began crossing some flat lands on the way to Guilin.

Curry and Erica drive this route to Guilin to visit family and know all of the local restaurants.  As we were quite hungry we gladly accepted his suggestion that we pull over to his favorite noodle cafe.  There are no pancakes, bacon and eggs in China, noodles are on the menu and I would soon I would fall in love with them.

The restaurant was a simple open sided building much like the local restaurant that we frequented in Yangshuo.  It was a family run business and we said hello to grandma and the family’s little child.

We ordered up four bowls of noodles and everyone added the ingredients that they liked specific to their bowl; chilli, peanuts, seaweed, onions and all sorts of other spices and condiments.  We all happily slurped out noodles using our chopsticks and they were so good that I went back for a second bowl.  The photo may not look like much, but the noodles tasted wonderful; the flavor of all the spices just sparked with taste.

Once we were back on the road, Anya announced that she wanted to buy a bag of pamellos and take them to Erica’s mother as a hospitality gift.  Curry pulled over and started shopping for a bag and I spotted the vendor’s little girl as she played in the family business.  I thought that she was quite adorable and shot a few photos of her.

She watched closely as Anya munched away on her sunflower seeds - Anya is always eating sunflower seeds (more on that later).  Anya offered some to the little girl and she happily accepted.  I have always thought Chinese children especially cute.

Anya did notice that some children were dressed 1/2 in boys clothes and 1/2 in girls clothes.  We would run into this again and again; I’ll post some photos and a blog post about this subject later.  When we asked Erica about this, she said that parents and grandparents “disguise” their children to confuse evil spirits who may want to take the children away.  If the child is not known as a boy or girl, the spirits won’t know who to take.  I had read in the book The Good Earth that it is also customary for Chinese people to never mention if a child is good looking for fear that the child will be snatched by spirits.  One should only comment that a child is bland or ugly looking in order to confuse them.

Back on the road to Guilin we passed through more and more of the beautiful mountains that give Guanxi Province some of the most photographed vistas in China.  On my way to a super weekend…


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