Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Road Trip!

We are now in Sanya, a very nice resort town on the southern side of Hainan Island. This is where our daughter was born and where she spent the first two years or so of her life. Getting here from Haikou took about 4-5 hours by van, and it was fascinating all the way.

Once you get out of the cities, Hainan is largely covered with farms. The American concept of open space is mostly unknown here, and virtually every square meter of tillable land on both sides of the road is used for agriculture. Rice paddies, coconut groves, and fruit and vegetable fields of all kinds are everywhere. There was precisely one tractor we saw en route here. Everywhere else, water buffalo do the work of pulling plows and wagons as well as cropping the weeds and fertilizing the fields.

And speaking of fertilizer, we stopped at a gas station by the road for a pit stop. Anyone who is considering travel to China should be aware that while hotels and other establishments that cater to Westerners feature Western-style toilets, other places - how can I put this delicately - don't.

In a nutshell, unless you are (a) male and (b) standing up, using one of these things takes some dexterity.

Billboards along Chinese highways mostly sell cars and industrial equipment, but there was one that just floored me.

I know this is difficult to make out, but the billboard is selling Goat Placenta Wine. Really. It is apparently something of a local specialty, but I freely confess to be in no hurry to try out this one.

And on that note, it's time for dinner. I wonder what's on the wine list...


Beverly said...

Hey Folks,
Just sat and read through your adventure. What a touching and
beautifully written telling. I feel like I am right there with you. Except I'll pass on the "bathroom"... Congratulations on your beautiful addition to your
family. Safe travel and looking forward to meeting her in the New Year.

Lots of Love and thanks for your
support from so far away.


susmom said...

Well.....can't say I want to try the bathroom. No melt down's today? Come home already....I miss you!!!!! I love your stories....keep them coming! Love ya.