Noilly Prattle: China 2017: 16 – farewell Fenghuang; hello Sanjiang

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

China 2017: 16 – farewell Fenghuang; hello Sanjiang

wine shop with large ceramic storage jars
750ml. bottle of plum wine
on my Mac Air
     When we came down to the lobby the morning after the dinner party it had returned to normal and was quiet. All the other family members who had been at the party the previous evening had already checked out and were returning to the matriarch's home town. We asked Mr. X where we could buy some of the 50% alcohol liquor served at the dinner party but he told us, then, that it was home made and not commercially available. Instead he took us to a nearby wine shop. The wine is kept in large ceramic jars. The shopkeeper gave us small plastic cups and ladled out small samples of various wines. We finally chose a nice plum wine which he poured into a clear plastic gourd-shaped 750ml. bottle for 60 yuan ($10).   

      The weather took a turn for the worse and it rained pretty heavily all day. We borrowed umbrellas from the hotel and only went out for eating and other necessities preparing for our trip to Sanjiang the next day. Later that evening as we were preparing our bags for departure and eating a makeshift supper of cashews, rolls, bananas, cookies and dried plum fruit and drinking some of our newly acquired plum wine Mr. X knocked on our door. He offered to drive us to Sanjiang himself for 1600 yuan. He said he thought the taxi at 1800 yuan was too expensive and since we had stayed five nights and the hotel wasn't very busy he would be happy to drive us (and happy to have the extra money). We happily agreed.

Mr. X
Mrs. Yuan
      Mrs. Yuan knocked on our door around 09:55 and beckoned us to follow her to the family car. Apparently both Mr. and Mrs. X decided to make a day of it and both accompanied us on the trip to Sanjiang. The trip went relatively smoothly most of it on the toll road which (not wanting a repeat of the previous "scenic route") we explicitly asked them to do. There were a couple of detours around uncompleted sections of the toll road and a couple of pit stops at roadside rest areas. Mr. X had a navigation system in his car (a Chinese make with a horse head for an emblem which he rather proudly informed me cost 100,000 yuan [$15,000]) and quickly found our hotel. He helped us register (helpful since the reception staff didn't speak any English) and then insisted on taking our bags up to our room before bidding us farewell.

Sanjiang International Hotel

       Our credits cards didn't work at the reception desk, so they summoned another staff woman who spoke English named Miss Liu who walked with us to the local Commercial Bank of China to get some cash from the ATM machine to pay the bill. No “swallowing” of the ATM card this time. :-)

  Relaxed in our room with our plum wine and a some snacks before going out to eat. We had spotted a little mom-and-pop noodle shop when we went to the bank and decided to try it out for dinner. It turned out to be a good choice with excellent beef noodles and some fried dumplings that were also delicious. 

       All in all, a relatively smooth and painless transition from Fenghuang to Sanjiang. 

partial view from our room in the Sanjiang International Hotel

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