A China Travel Holiday Special... MEET THE GROOMS! Episode 11: Living with the Miao

Culture | by Aimee Groom
Posted: January 30th, 2011 | Updated: July 11th, 2011 | Comments
[showtime] The intrepid Aimee Groom (aka Daughter From Hell) is back from her own travels in Europe but the story continues as we approach Chinese New Year in MEET THE GROOMS! Think of it as China Travel Reality TV holiday special (without the TV). So, without further ado, please Meet John and Lesley Groom, the backpackers with a bus pass. In December 2008, this adventurous pair of Shanghai, Zhejiang, Anhui, Taiwan, Fujian, Guizhou and Jiangsu. >>> Huangshan, anhui Sent: Sat, January 31, 2009 1:38:39 PM Subject: Travels in China cont'd Next morning drove to Langde, a Miao village. Then to Leishan where Mr Tao excelled himself. Almost all food places were shut but he somehow managed to get us a police escort to the only restaurant open for lunch. Saw our first Chinese camel and then went to Xijiang another Miao village built on a hillside. DFH and FCUK insisted on us staying at a place called the Leader's House right at the top. It was a huge wooden building and was like being in a freezing cold sauna. I'm still not sure what happened when we went for our evening meal. Somehow we ended up eating in the owner's private room with half a dozen of his family. It turned out he really was "the leader" and could be called Miao One, however he drank far too much beer under our influence and Miao Two in the kitchen was pretty cross with him. The next morning, there was no sign of him and Miao Two bode us farewell. (More after the jump...) Then a long drive through spectacular mountain scenery with a stop for lunch in a restaurant which was again like intruding in someone's living room. Whilst the lady was chopping up the live fish, we went off to get biscuits in case the meal was not up to much. So it proved. Everything had gone in the pot, head, tail, fins, scales, the lot. Thank God for the biscuits. Meanwhile, a man walked along the street with a whole cow's head on a string and there was a food stall with a whole pig's head which did not surprise us as pig snout is a local delicacy. On to Basha, another Miao village. Basha is unusual as the Miao women and girls wear their full traditional costumes all the time. Half the population here seemed drunk. We are in an inn which again is wood and like being in a cold sauna. Outside a group of old men have lit a wood fire near bundles of straw and wood which is worrying as the place is entirely built of wood. Oh! And to get the washroom you have to go past a huge pig who grunts at you. Went for our evening meal in what seemed to be someone's lounge and sat on little stools too small for a milk maid's bum. It seems we are not just seeing the Miao people but actually living with them! Tomorrow we leave the Miao and head to a Dong village. To be continued…
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