“The Egg” is the name of a fairly big and good quality crag in Yángshuò. Even though this post has a food title, it was supposed to be about climbing. But it turned out to be a smidgen too hot to climb comfortably (this story takes place months ago; I’m not back in Yángshuò right now; I’m just getting to some older posts), so the only thing I ended up taking pictures of that day was food!
It’s worth noting that there’s a fantastic 5.10- at The Egg. It’s over thirty meters long, maybe 31 or 33 meters (it was definitely an odd number!), but a 60 meter rope will get you back down to the ground via the stretch, if my memory still holds. It’s not a beginner’s ten; it feels exposed because it traverses left and right quite a bit, so you spend more time than normal looking in directions that aren’t up. Also, there’s a bit of a runout at the end that feels quite dangerous. The finish traverses left, but your last draw is back on the other side of a dihedral, so a fall would send you swinging back rightward onto that other face. On your second ascent, however, you realize that last little bit of climbing is like 5.6, so it’s “fine”.
Lilly suggested, in the morning, that we grab lunch before we leave, and we ended up at a dumpling place. These photos, for me, are just divine. I love it!
First thing to note is that it’s totally acceptable to waltz right on back to the kitchen of any Chinese restaurant (in China). Feel free to poke around, take some pictures, whatever you need to do. Imagine doing this in America!
Perhaps the reason why you can’t do this in America is that you’re likely to find all the food in factory-sealed freezer bags and rows of microwaves. Most restaurants in America aren’t anything more than full service reheating stalls.
Part of the magic of less developed regions (I wanted to say “countries”, but China is a mix of super developed and crazy poor, all at once) is that food is still food (not food-like chemical substitutions), and restaurants are staffed by chefs (artists), not cooks or food scientists. Look at this first picture! I dare you to find a restaurant in America that makes its dough as simply and naturally as this. It’s possible, but you’re going to pay through the nose for such “boutique” tastes. These dumplings I had were cheap, like one U.S. dollar cheap for ten dumplings!
Further, the dumplings are made to order. It literally could not be any fresher. The 10 minutes it takes them to prepare your dumplings are spent stuffing and forming.
And then frying or steaming.
Before you order your dumplings, they don’t exist. How crazy!
We also picked up some fruit that day: lychee. Their Chinese name is 荔枝 (lì zhī), which you might actually be able to consider a cognate, i.e. one of the dozen or so words that sounds similar in both English and Chinese.