September 24, 2006 - Guyuan, China
The Rainy Desert
You’re living in a desert they said. It’s gonna be dry they said.
It was rainy.
Rainy and gray.
Canceled plans to go see nearby Xumi Shan and its famous grottoes. Saturday sprinkled all day and I kicked myself for not braving it. I swore, rain or shine, Sunday would find me at Xumi Shan. I woke Sunday at 7:30 to find Guyuan under a thick blanket of fog.
So much for that.
Instead I finally got my hands dirty and started my first woodcut in what feels like ages. Definitely a bonus to have an office with two desks. One for the computer and one for the art. Dirty art kid.
Found my second jiaozi joint in Guyuan on the “strip.” Nobody else calls it that. Neither do I. It just seems apt. One street past the school is a row of 30 or so small tin shacks and a couple open air pool joints - each shack a small food stall with a few tables inside. Most specialize in one or two dishes - and thats just how I like it. You walk down the street eyeing each one to see what looks tasty. I slink past the owners I know, hoping they don’t see me try the competition.
Most close in the rain and I ducked into the first one that was open. Stepping around a man sweeping the wet floor, I found myself face to face with a small woman wielding two small rolling pins.
Smiling, I craned my neck around to see what she was making.
A big steaming bowl filled with soup and dumplings would make perfect lunch on a rainy day. And thats what I got. To top it off I had a good laugh with the owner(s). We chatted for a bit and I learned that it was a husband/wife/daughter trio. I mentioned that the shop had two owners and the husband burst out laughing. He noted his sweeping duties - he knew who the one boss was.
Speaking of food - I had my first taste of coffee since Thailand - espresso beans in a dark chocolate bar.
Eyes roll to back of head.
Tumbleweeds... and no comments. How 'bout livening things up?