The Mystery Fruit of Emei Mountain
Everyone in China had a week off this year because National Day happened to fall on the day after Mid-Autumn Festival. I spent National Day with my friend Huang Qian from Leshan climbing Emei Mountain, the highest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China.
Like most Chinese cuisines, eating Sichuan food involves a lot of spitting things out (bones, seeds, and more bones). These can be embarrassingly difficult for an inexperienced foreigner, such as myself, to eat. At the bottom of the mountain, Huang Qian's mom handed me a pomegranate. Much to their amusement, when we reached the top, I had still not finished eating said pomegranate. I also failed to finish duck feet, much to her mom's disappointment. Trying to make up for my wastefulness, I victoriously choked down an egg that had been buried in dirt and you know what? It wasn't half bad!
I was born here!
The highest point we reached was the sole temple for women (nunnery) on Emei Mountain. This is the famous site where Huang Qian first muttered the phrase "I was born here!" that would be repeated as much as possible for the rest of the trip. These recitations were mostly prefaced by "Just follow me" or "Of course I know where we're going".
Emei Mountain Nunnery Rooftops
The first time she said it, we stood overlooking the nunnery rooftops on Emei Mountain. She explained that the architect had taken the way the wind blows over the space into consideration when building the temple so all the dirt would be swept away, which is why the rooftops are so clean. I now regret my surprise at her uncharacteristic knowledge-dropping, as she exclaimed, "I was born here!" in reply.
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