Cooking in Yanghsuo

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Showbiz Inn
What I did
Cooking Class

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interested in a cooking class it was nice to learn that some other travelers stumbled upon a local woman from Moon Village who offered to teach us for much less than the official school was charging. As long as we were five people the price would be only 80 RMB vs. 150 each. Needless to say, we were only four so leave it to me to go to the next door hostel and solicit a Dutch woman to join our group. In addition to Annieke (the Dutch woman) the others in the group were two girls from Florida, Heather and Kristina and Heather's new boyfriend Gary that she met in Hong Kong. It was a nice group and we all had a chance to chop, cook, stir and eat.

Yu Lin, this petite local woman greeted us at the bus stop and led us to her home. Yu Lin had already selected the dishes we would make which included Egg Dumplings, Kung Pao Chicken, Stir Fry Beef with Veggies, Haung Sao Tofu, and Jui Sin Tao Yo (Bamboo Shoots). Basically we used the same essential ingredients for all of the dishes except the Bamboo which included some chili but otherwise it started with heating the peanut oil in the wok and after cooking ingredients we would throw in some oyster sauce and soy sauce. The good thing is these are all dishes even I can make easily back in the States. The kitchen area where we cooked was through the living space pass a tiny courtyard with a well and into a bare concrete room with an electric skillet and a wok.

Yu Lin would have us cook one dish then return to the living area to eat. We sat at a round table amidst a lounge chair where grandpa stayed glued just below a large poster of Mao on the wall. We would marvel at how yummy the food was as we watched an international sports competition. The funny thing was each time we came back to the table to eat there would be a different sport on the tube. For the first course we watched the controversial hurdle jumping. The Cuban who won deliberately hit the Chinese guy’s arm on two occasions causing him to lose rhythm and fall back. I was in awe that the refs didn’t foul him and to make matters worse the Cuban started hugging the Chinese guy. Next course and sport combo was Kung Pao Chicken and Discus, followed by the 100 Meter Sprint and Stir fry Beef With Veggies, next while enjoying Haung Sao Tofu we marveled at the anorexic female Speed Walkers who looked like they had to go pee, and lastly we watched a popular Chinese game of Table Tennis, appropriate for the Bamboo Shoots dish.

We returned to the city completely full. That night Daria and I attempted a full body Chinese massage since our experience with Dr. Lily a Lonely Planet recommendation, was painful but ultimately made me feel better. Meanwhile, unlike Dr. Lily the Traditional Chinese Spa was worse than torture and we paid more than double than elsewhere. At least Daria and I got a good laugh out of it. I think we treated ourselves to another fresh juice to make up for the disappointment. 
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