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|to DuYuen [Capital-Even ] (2nd Sep)|
It's a big day for me. The family is going home today and I am left
alone in GuiZhou. No more arranged activities and I will have my
adventurous backpack trip from today on.
Or is that just wishful thinking .. ..
After lunch, the family heads for the airport. It's a brand new day
What a GuiZhou dream trip is like? When I daydreamed in Hong Kong, I
see myself checking out schools, I see myself living with village
people and wonder how different it is from city life, and I see myself
taking tons of pictures at not-yet-developed tourist spots. My blood
rushes every time I dream that dream.
I know enquiring with travel agents, or reading backpackers' guide books can never make my dream come true. So I have to depend on grandpa's contact in MJ. Yet grandpa had warned me that MJ wouldn't let me go solo because they would label me as an "honorable guest" because of grandpa. They would put me in countless dinner reception but no village visit.
But what choices do I have? I have been talking on and off to Lao* Yang of MJ last week. I told him about my GuiZhou dream trip and I made it clear to him that I want be left alone or I will be going home. He said he would call local authorities and would make arrangements.
So help me god.
* "Lao" is a friendly salute meaning "old". It's for addressing people slightly older. Say if a younger guy comes up to me, he will call me "Lao Leung". And I will call him "Xiao Whoever". "Xiao" means "young" and is the opposite of "Lao".
2:00pm. I am the lone backpacker Kam again in a bus station. My
instruction from Lao Yang is to "take a bus to DuYuen and find Li Zhu
Ren ("Zhu Ren" is supervisor by direct translation. But in
China, "Zhu Ren" is the head of something).
Nothing else. Ok, that sounds like the low profile trip I asked for.
DuYuen is a mid size city with 1.8 mil. population. She is the capital of QS (Qian South BuYi Tribe, Miao Tribe Autonomous Prefecture).
I am directed here because 1) granpa has built most of his schools here; 2) MJ has a better relationship with QS authorities; 3) QS is the most beautiful autonomous prefecture of GuiZhou; 4) QS retains the most original tribe culture of GuiZhou. Cool.
MJ's contact in QS is a government unit called the "Remote Area Support Office" (RASO, translation is not official). Providing help to remote and poorer areas, RASO comes to know every small parts of QS well. Most schools grandpa built are in fact under the help of RASO. Li Zhu Ren is the second in charge of RASO.
Liquor culture of GuiZhou - GuiZhou people say "rather get a hole
in the stomach than have a crack in our friendship".
Like in most parts of China, liquor is the relationship builder. Thru drinking together, intimacy is tightened and deals are made. One might think relationship could be built with more health-conscious alternatives. Well, he's not wrong. But he simply loses the biggest socializing edge if he doesn't drink. Period.
Liquor is very hard in China. 20%+ alcohol content is considered the equivalent of water, 30%+ is "low" which doesn't have enough voltage to express the flavor of the wine, 50%+ is just right.
Drinking starts whenever people sit around a table to eat. If you are the guest, the host would raise his cup and say "Jing Ni [Respect You]". Then, sort of like setting the rule, he finishes or drinks part of the cup. The guest is supposed to follow the rule set out by the host and drinks his share of liquor. Other members from the host party would then take turns to "Jing" the guest. Challenge rounds may follow until you puke.
If you are the sole guest at a table of 12, good luck.
|I was warned by Lao Yang of the liquor culture of GuiZhou so I am being very cautious to today. After being the sole guest of a table of 8, I still manage to take PICs on the way back to the hotel. Good start.|
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