this morning i was paying the price of indulging in indiscriminant street food eating last night. if i had to point a finger, maybe it was the cheap smelly tofu that i bought from a man cooking them on a piece of wire-fencing over a charcoal fire. who knows, but after several bathroom visits, it was time for sweet loperamide.
i decided i'd spent the day resting. the weather was raining anyway, so that gave me more incentive to stay indoors, relaxing to some snacks, some nice AC, and CCTV channel 9, the only english broadcast channel on television. when i felt bored, i stalked people with my telephoto lens from my 2nd floor hotel window.
father & daughter
i did go out for a little bit (when it wasn't raining), went to the long-distance bus station a few blocks away to ask about yuanyang tickets. apparently they exist, but as to what day the bus departs, i couldn't be certain. i'll ask again another day. when i came back i had some rice noodles and watched as people were getting tattoos on the street (no photos of that, sorry). i also visited the nearby internet cafe, now my second home.
manting temple guardian lion
tired of being stuck indoors, i went back out in the late afternoon. i rolled up the legs of my pants and put on my flip flops since it was raining. i walked down manting lu (lined with either restaurants or massage parlors, i didn't realize the two went hand in hand) to the manting temple. nothing too special, but it was fun to see a group of chinese tourists reluctant to go inside because it involved taking off your shoes and socks (something i'm well aware of, having been to burmese temples, which follow the same principle).
walking back, i had dinner at a dongbei restaurant. the beef noodle wasn't very good, stewed in a broth of hot oil. next i visited the rabbit bar, where i chatted with a young chinese man. he was in the business of renting bicycles to foreign tourists (his sign caught my attention, because apparently he also rents out motorcycles) and we chatted about his clients and then i helped him clarify a few sticky english language grammar items that he was having problems with.
my night wasn't over quite yet: i promised those hunanese siblings that i'd revisit their food stand at the night market. the brother was there, along with his mother and his 4-year old daughter. i had some mutton, a chicken drumstick, and some chicken feet. i couldn't muster enough courage to try to deep-fried chicks.
mekong river bridge
i finally made it over the mekong river, crossing the fancy new bridge, all pulsating in colorful LED lights with a jumbotron at the apex. the mekong, or as the chinese call it, lancang jiang (just like the town i stayed at a week ago). the mekong was the one landmark that i saw from every single country i visited in southeast asia last spring, so it's especially fitting that i should see it again, this time from southern china.
i made it back home, my feet still hurting. there was still no hot water, so i took a quick cold shower and went to bed.