Yunnan Culture

Nicholas Quirke was willing Kunming to be a better experience than his first brush with the city but on 31 August 2020 as he pulled back the curtains of the hotel and discovered it was still raining and the clouds shrouding the city, he thought things might not be an improvement. He hoped to see Dian Lake and to visit the Yunnan Cultural Village. Visiting in the rain was not going to be the best of conditions to view the vast body of water nestling in the foothills of the mountains. Undeterred he set of o. A bike in a newly purchased rain mac, though somewhat disappointed by the only colour choice pink. The cycle took him an hour and by the time he had reached his destination the sun had decided to appear and he was able to get a sense of the serene landscape. It was still misty around the mountains but at least he was dry and he took a walk along the shore of the lake. He was attracted by a pier which enticed customers out for a better view. He had to pay and though he liked the tatty painting of marine life, the glass bottom section was very dirty and the end of the pier was weirdly mirrored which seemed to make no sense at all other than a photographic gimmick and seeing up the legs of shorts and skirts. The walk along the shore was beautiful. Quiet, peaceful and full of exotic trees and grasses and haunting images. By the time he needed some refreshment Peng was able to give him a recommendation and he cycled to the map reference which turned out to be a fancy golf club. He negotiated a meal, including a tofu dish with the meat removed from it. he was looking forward to eating but when the tofu arrived and he tasted it, he immediately knew something was wrong and he examined the gristle little flecks in the meal and when he questioned the waiter they discovered the kitchen had not followed the instructions and he had in fact tasted meat. He had expected them to give him something off the bill but they felt their apologies were enough! Lakeside Golf club restaurant was not going to go down well in his estimation and he headed to the Yunnan Ethnic Village which was a scenic area celebrating the 26 diverse cultures of Yunnan from Ali, Bai to the terrifying Wa. His first encounter was a colourful with an Elephant which he actually felt quite bad about when he discovered it had a hind leg chained. Exploring the lifestyles and homes, traditions and culture of these differing minorities was fascinating. And even when a Thunder storm started he could not be deterred from attempting to sample all 26 villages. He sought shelter from the teeming rain for a while in the Ali homestead where he was fed chestnuts and told about their lives. He felt time was marching on and with rain mac and umbrella he ventured forth to capture the rest of the Yunnan people. He was amazed that despite their proximity to each other there really was a very distinct style to each community some of which were very forbidding and some very sexual. A truly fascinating and fulfilling journey which he ended in the world of Tibet. The rain had finally stopped but not before he had cracked the screen protector in the Go-Pro causing a strange fracture to the video i footage. He started to cycle the 10km back to the hotel but he was weary and when he found a suitable spot he stopped and Peng organised a Didi for him back to the hotel. His fears that Kunming would continue to to hold bad karma for him increased further when his personal travel agent tried to book a rail ticket for his venture to Shilin in the next day and it was impossible. He needed to verify his authenticity and this meant taking a walk to Kunming Station. As he was tired and didn’t fancy a 20 minute stroll her took the subway. Unfortunately, although it was called Kunming Rail Station, it seemed impossible to get into the station from the subway. Major works were underway and after a completely bewildering experience of trying every exit he spotted an arrow and just followed it. It took him at least 15 minutes to navigate the entire perimeter of the station. Once inside he was directed to an office where there was only one person in front of him who was on the phone to someone else as he was being served and took ages . When he finally got served he handed the phone to the lady to speak with Peng and there was much discussion and another lady was called and meanwhile to his horror she started serving someone else. Finally he ended up with a ticket but it had exhausted him and Peng and spending an hour and a half on getting a train ticket was not an edifying experience. As he went to bed he felt that weather, the unfortunate misdemeanour in the restaurant and the ticket fiasco encouraged the view that maybe Kunming was associated with the experience of 2018 and he could not close his eyes with the sense of satisfaction he usually felt.

1 Comment

  1. A few mishaps along the way but still some great sights were seen and you got to wear the pink rain mac, so not all bad 😜 x

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