this morning i wandered around yuanyang, looking for anything photoworthy. the camera lens is now acting up even more often and i'm going to see if i can buy a replacement lens in kunming instead of waiting to fix it when i come back to the US.
i grabbed an RMB$3 tuk tuk ride down to the main bus station and bought a ticket for kunming, leaving tomorrow morning at 9am. i wanted to stay in yuanyang another day, but it's too hard (and expensive) to get out to the rice terraces, i'm at the mercy of the weather, and everyone i meet here tells me that the best time to come is in a few months, when they harvest all the rice and flood the terraces.
i wandered back to the local market. i've been there before, but i never realized there was a second floor. it was 10am but late by market standards, as most people were packing up and leaving (they'd probably been there since 7am). from the upper story i had a great view of what was left, and got a few nice photos.
choose your own meat
weights and scale
lettuce and tomatoes
returning to the hotel, i stopped by a convenience store to buy a bowl of ramen (AKA dinner). "i'm impressed with your chinese," the woman store owner told me. i informed her i was chinese (she thought i was korean) and we chatted for a while, talking mostly about business opportunities in little towns versus big cities. i was surprised to hear her story of when she used to own a store in the countryside, that everyone had to pay the police protection money (RMB$5/month) and even then her place was almost burgled.
more hani women
i had more rice noodles for dinner, which seems to be the only sort of food around here that i can tolerate. the girls who ran the place were flirty, and sang and spit sunflower shells behind my back as i ate.
rice noodle preparation
i was out again, this time visiting the hill behind my hotel, where i could see a temple of some sort. the walk meandered through a park where old men and women played cards. the summit offered a great view of the town. unfortunately the temple was closed for renovations.
hilltop view of yuanyang
for my final outing, i followed a footpath out of yuanyang which i thought might lead me to some rice terraces. there were too trails and without a map i didn't want to go too far and get lost. i went as far as a little village before turning back.
the footpath walk wouldn't have been very memorable until i came across a monster caterpillar. i actually saw it from a distance, all 5 inches, writhering around on the ground. i didn't know what it was at first, and when i had a clear view, i was horrified. this is by far the largest caterpillar i've ever seen. mustering up some courage, i got close enough to take a few photos before i ran away.
"take my photo!"
for the rest of the night i'm going to be in my hotel room, watching television, eating my ramen, and maybe buy some barbecued corn from those hani women. tomorrow looks to be a tedious travel day, a 7 hour bus ride to kunming. maybe i can have some KFC for dinner tomorrow!
update: met a backpacking shanghai girl who gave me some travel trips when i arrive in guizhou.