Well, it was my birthday on Sunday! What a great day! Last year was pretty crap coz at the time I still didn’t know very many people so basically I was on my own. This year I wasn’t.
My friend Jess came from Xiamen uni (where she’s studying Chinese and learning faster than I ever have) for the weekend, and on Sunday morning (well, midday) up she got and made us a pancake breakfast, which was nice.
In the afternoon our friend Henry took us to his family’s farm in the countryside near Jieyang. It’s actually really near the Dansuao hotspring, just over the hill I think. The Chaoshan countryside is so nice. If you hired a taxi to get out there I reckon (on Henry’s assurance) that the farmers wouldn’t mind you wandering around, so long as you don’t break things. The lady on the farm might have thought me and Jess were a bit strange, we were very impressed with all the food actually Growing. There were bananas and green fruit and sugarcane and sweet potatoes and jielan vegetable and chickens and also leechees and dragon’s eyes that weren’t ripe yet. And a cow!
Also lots of gravestones scattered around the place, a good proportion of which are used as bridges to cross ditches, including one we found from the Qing dynasty. Apparently the countryside is full of this stuff if you look around for a bit. I once met an architect from Beijing, he’s really into collecting ancient stuff. He said he just goes to the countryside and asks around, then they pull out this stuff and he buys it for a couple of hundred rmb. I guess he knows what’s real, he’s good at it. There’s some Really ancient stuff in his house, I like old things so I find it interesting. They have been so many places.