"SUQIAN" Suqian by jono84
Suqian Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos
Dani's family have been so great to me, and this morning as soon as word spread that yours truly was feeling ill they wanted to rush me down to hospital, but i insisted it was just flu!
So instead Dani's auntie took me, Dani and her mum to a place where Dani explained we could "take a shower" - and stupid me, i took it literally... What i was to find is we were getting a full body massage and scub, sauna - basically the full works. I should have taken heed from my experience yesterday when apparently i was getting a "haircut", but instead got also got a head, back and neck massage!! Anyway, seeing as i was the first foreigner they had had visit this leisure complex in some time, i seemed to attract a bit of extra attention (just a little!)
They pointed me to the changing room, and as i was undressing i noticed five guys standing around me watching. I guessed they must work for the place and wanted to help, but it was a tad uncomfortable nonetheless, especially when it dawned on me from their gestures that i was expected to go naked, and follow them to the place where i thought i could "take a shower". Well a shower was what i eventually got, after id bathed in a hot tub, been to the sauna, and been scrubbed from head to toe (oh god were they thorough!). And to finish me off completely, once i was back in robes they showed me to a place where you can lay and watch tv, whilst someone gives you a foot and leg massage, while someone constantly is on hand to provide with you with water and snacks. Oh my god, what an experience! Especially as i had no idea what was happening from one moment to the next, and i was just being beckoned from one room to another. Atleast the people working there found it highly amusing from the worry and confusion written across my face.
Its been a similarly bewildering experience at mealtimes as well, its crazy when i think of it but a different member of Dani's family or friends have taken us out for lunch and dinner EVERY SINGLE DAY since we've been here!!! Its incredible. I've really been treated to some mouth-watering dishes (and others which are a little too shocking to talk about!). Here is a brief list of some dishes which i tried for the first time:
eel, bugs, frog, dog, (crab, lobster - i had tried them before, but this time they were just sitting there on the plate all but alive), pigs feet, duck tongue, duck insides, duck feet, duck head (yes i know! - this was definitely when my stomach reached its threshold!), snail, lotus flower, duck egg, fungus, fish (not what you think! - this is a rare fish that if not cooked properly can be poisoness!), tortoise, and finally chicken in the egg (yes literally! - an egg which is taken from the chicken before the chick inside has fully turned to yolk - so you can imagine... half chick, half egg... ill leave the rest to your imagination). Now most of the above dont actually look as bad as they sound, well most of them, but i can recommend them especially as you wont find all of these dishes in the rest of China, as they are typically Suqian-ese dishes.
Anyway, its been a great last few days in Suqian, since we finished the initial period of mourning for Dani's grandmother. She died last friday of cancer, and we're staying in Suqian until this sunday. Dani's family is largely agnostic or christian but her grandmother was a buddhist, so natually the funeral and proceedings were set about in to commemorate her in the manner she would have wanted. On saturday and sunday her grandparents home was turned into a shrine, with people visiting from all over china and dropping off flowers and gifts, while dani and the other grandchildren burnt money in her memory. People would come in and bow, and everyone was wearing some form of attire to mourn her grandmother, being dani's bf, i had to wear a white hat.
On monday, the funeral took place and the whole family and all the people who wanted to, paraded through the streets, with dani's dad at the front holding his mother's picture, with very solemn music playing, as we walked to the place where everyone could say their final farewells and her body would be burnt. It was a very touching experience, and one i will not forget. Dani like everybody here still gets upset from time to time, but she is very strong, i for one am not sure i would have coped with it as well as she has done.
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