Kunming, the start of the journey
Trip Start Aug 08, 2004
34Trip End Aug 2005
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Right before I arrived, she managed to set her kitchen on fire
The next morning we embarked on the journey. We fought the ever-present crowds and managed to board the train where we would spend the next 26 hours of our lives. The ride proved to be fairly uneventful. Just the usual leather-jacket-wearing, chain smoking Chinese man in the bunk across from us who stared at us for an entire day. Gorgeous scenery flashed by outside the window. I saw miles and miles of the stone formations that are so famous in Yunnan. They looked like grey barnacles encrusting the land.
Kunming has been a pleasant city, as far as big cities go. The weather feels like early spring. Still a chill in the air, but the skies are blue and the air is perceptibly cleaner. I can almost feel my body unclenching after months of constant cold misery. The hotel we are staying at appears to be waiguoren (foreigner) central. I have to consciously remind myself not to stare; while we were eating our continental breakfast in the lobby, I realized I haven't seen this many white people under one roof since I flew out of LAX in August
We have decided to sample as much good food as possible while on this trip. We've recently discovered the wonders of one Yunnan specialty: goat cheese. Mellisa has ordered it at every meal...steamed, fried, with ham, you name it. If, at the end of a month I have to be carried back to Liuyang because I've gained so much weight, so be it.
The rest of our time in Kunming has been fairly business oriented, aside from a brief excursion to the bird and flower market (did the CDC mention something about avoiding large congregations of live chickens...?). Took care of the Vietnamese visa and bought tickets for the next leg of the journey. Forking over half a month's salary for the visa was actually physically painful. I hope that everything works out according to plan...