Monday, September 26, 2016

Random Shots of Dunhuang. Our Last Day.


Today was our last day in Dunhuang and I think we were all more than ready to move on.

Mal and I lazed around a good part of the morning but it really was a beautiful day so I used her need to buy bottled water as a way to get her out for a short walk around the hotel.  The hotel itself is on a relatively busy road but the side roads are not as they all seem to lead to neighborhoods.

I had spotted a small park from our hotel window so I used that as our destination marker.  Along the way, we popped into a bakery to check out some items - nothing looked tantalizing enough to buy.


It was a small park but a nice bit of green refuge.




From our room, we had heard the joyful sounds of kids playing in a school yard.  On our walk, we crossed paths with a group of very precocious and friendly school children.  Oh how wonderful to be that age and so carefree!



Later in the morning, we met back up with Yim and Sal for lunch.  I was not paying any attention to where we were going.  I just walked and took in the world around me.  For the moment, I was not a tourist.



In the US, it would be a row of cars, in China, it's a row of motorbikes.

Chinese is not easy to translate into English :-)

We somehow ended up in a neighborhood commercial area that was filled with small restaurants.




The cobbler.


Through the glass window, I spotted a woman making wontons.  Wontons are only made by the Cantonese so that was a sure sign to me that there were restaurants here serving Cantonese food.  I wanted the wontons so I convinced the gals to find a restaurant dishing them up.

The wonton maker.

And they found a suitable place.

The cook.

The owner and main cook was a very friendly Chinese man.  His son returned from school just as we sat down at a table.  Later, he joined his dad for a quick meal, sitting at the table next to ours.


We had popped in just for a *snack* so the gals just order a steamer tray of dumplings and a bowl of the wontons for us to share.



My tastebuds were happy and I left the table ready to eat more.

For our main meal, it was back to spicy beef noodles.  Probably my last meal of hand pulled noodles for this trip so I was okay going with a bowl but after this, I am really done with noodles....in China.  Thanks to Mal, we shared a dish of veggies and for drinks, we had plum juice which I must say was quite nice.



Early afternoon, we checked out of the hotel and Cathy and our driver took us to the airport where we would catch a flight to Zhangjiajie via Xi'an.

On the way, Mal recorded her lesson in basic Chinese (counting from one to 10 and saying *thank you* and *you're welcome* from Cathy who by this time also lovingly called her Shiong Mao.  Mal already knows some words thanks to Yim and Sal but she wanted to have them spoken by a native Chinese and well, who better than a woman than Cathy....the lovely guide whom we've all bonded with these past few days. Oh....Mal also wanted Cathy to explain to her the difference between *aiya* and *aiyo*.  Before she could even think about how to answer the question, she just broke out laughing as she was so surprised that not only did Mal know the words but she got the inflections correct!


Mal has the funniest facial expressions.  She also makes a squeaking (?) sound when she's feeling distressed. I've tried to imitate her but I can't.  I have no idea how she produces the sound but one thing for sure -  I laugh every time I hear it.  I have been trying to catch her on video for this entire trip and only got it today.  I just had to ask her if she was ready to leave Cathy.


At the airport, the woman who has been forever evading having me take her photos asked to do her a favor... and so I did.  We will all miss our driver as well.


Goodbye Dunhuang!