At the Flower Market in Kunming

On the street, a bouquet of nice flowers might cost about 20 Yuan, but at the flower market, it costs about 5. Good deal, eh?

These are said to absorb "poison" from the air, so it's great to have around if you recently painted your walls.

This old lady was selling a sad bouquet of wilting lilies. I just had to buy them from her because nobody else in the world would have paid for them! She was so old but determined!

The old man by the river better get out of there before he gets electrocuted!

Two Men Chatting, A Woman Unloading, and a Forest of Bushes

Blurry, but I liked them. You can tell by the way they are dressed that they are from a minority tribe of Yunnan.

We left the market with a trunk full of plants.


Plentiful Pears and Other Fruits

My post yesterday about Yueyue was heavy, which is unusual for me, but it needed to be said.

Now, although I feel a bit weird about continuing my normally cheerful blog, it also needs to be done. Because after all, life goes on.

So, deep breath, I am still my fruitful self!

And that’s exactly what this post is about: FRUIT! Of all the things that are lacking in China, one thing there is always an abundance of is fruit in all shapes and sizes!

My first encounter with fruit was last month in Kunming. Some family and I went pear-picking, and it sure was plentiful…

plentiful pears

And an uncle in a pear tree..

mama pear

I never really thought about where or how pomegranates were grown, until I found this tree in front of my dad’s apartment:

Fruits of My Father's Garden (it doesn't actually belong to him)

Hawthorn Berries are sweet and very sour, good for juice

The rest of these photos are from all over, grown uncontrollably everywhere.

welcoming gourds


gourds

persimmon tree

Rambutan from the Maldives, similar to lychee in China

A fruit market in Kunming.

This last photo is one of my favorites that I’ve taken since I’ve been in China. Too bad his grapes were so overpriced.

The Man with Many Grapes


At the Market (in Kunming)

Taro Flower

Fresh eggs (not sure of what bird)

Youngest butcher I ever saw

All my favorite parts

Mom carefully selecting our veggies which we are going to SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB before we cook

(See my previous post about why we are going to SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!)

Pears fresh from the trunk

The next few photos are quite disturbing, so only move on if you have a strong stomach or watch Andrew Zimmerman’s Bizarre Foods on the Discovery Channel.

Man disturbing grubs peace for profit

How snug!

Grubs = delicacy = VOMIT!


The Mobile Lawn

I wonder if that comes in living room size…


The Dangerous Side of a Good Meal

Good food is hard to come by these days in China. I don’t mean good as in tasty, because there’s PLENTY of tasty food. I mean good as in good quality, or good for you, or even real. That is the latest concern.

Modernization and quick technological advancement have for sure boosted China’s economy but scientific knowledge and talent is totally being misdirected. All of your fake brand name handbags are made in China right? Fake iphones, fake money, and now fake food.

photo credit: Aziz Hussin

I don’t mean to steal this idea from one of the college application essays I had to edit today, but the student made a most excellent point: why are the Chinese wasting all of this precious talent on producing counterfeit and imitation goods when they could be redirecting their efforts into producing original top quality goods in their own country?  When iphone 5 didn’t come out last week as planned, the thousands (if not more) of already made fake iphone 5’s and the dollars it cost to make them all sorrowfully went down the toilet.  Learn your lesson!

Now back to food. HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT FOOD I EAT IS SAFE? I won’t. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop me from eating out, but I still wonder if I should actually eat the mango that’s bigger than my head or the grapefruit that is the size of a basketball…

How can I be sure this meat and fish that have been drying and marinating in the open air for who-knows-how-long is actually okay to eat?

Even the mushrooms (junzi) in Yunnan, stuff you can’t get anywhere else in the world, is now feared to be chemically induced.

Many hot-pot restaurants in China have been shut down because they were caught reusing repeatedly the same oil/soup base for multiple customers. That means the food you’re about to eat was cooked in someone else’s pot of boiling soup, and the food they ate was cooked in the soup used before them. Now that is just ill practice and a terrible way to run a business!

This photo was taken at "Haidilao," one of the few safe hot-pot restaurants left in Beijing. It's absolutely delicious. I'll take you there when you come visit.

Currently the safest option is to buy your own groceries and cook at home.

My family eating one of the best home-cooked meals I've ever eaten.

*WARNING* Wash and scrub those fruits and vegetables down because the coating of pesticides or whatever it is will kill you, or at least make you sick. My mom used the water she saved from washing vegetables to water our wilting houseplants; the next day, those same plants were bursting with life! That should say something…

Or, just stick to WASHED vegetables. That’s better for me anyway. I need more greens in my diet.

My cousin getting a healthy dosage of soupy greens.


3 Weeks in Kunming, China (in photo)

View from our kitchen window

Hot red peppers drying on the porch

Sunbathing peanuts

Longmen (Dragon’s Gate)

Aerial view of Kunming after dark

My uncle praying to the Gods

My "big aunt," "big uncle," me and "middle aunt"

Cheng Jiang

Cheng Jiang (river)

Mahjohng on the pebbled beach

Family

Panlong Buddhist Temple 

Incense and other goods to be burned in honor of the gods sold at roadside

Panlongsi from a distance

On the road, people and scenery

He overcharged for those fat, juicy grapes.

Yunnan soil is red.

Farmland

Whacking grains