Mushrooms and Monkeynuts

Nothing much happened, except that there were mushrooms being grown, picked, and sold everywhere. Mushrooms being transported in precipitous piles on the back of clunky old threewheelers. Mushrooms being chopped up and out in soup. Mushrooms at the centre of violent roadside altercations. Mushrooms.

Just as the night before, it all kicked off when we were looking to set up the tent. Except that we had already set up the tent and brought in our bags when the offer of hospitality arrived. I agreed, rather grumpily, to shift indoors, and we were soon cracking monkey nuts with a friendly Chinese family and their excited kids (apparently you can pay 10,000 yuan to have a second child. How does this work? Does the government do discounts? January sales? BOGOF?)
Nick made conversation in his increasingly smooth mandarin, while I was put to practising my monkey nut cracking technique (press on the seam, apparently). A solid night’s sleep was followed by a delicious breakfast of pork noodles, sweet potato in corn broth, some fried greens with a strong, irony taste, a reddy brown chutney, improbably made from yellow beans, that tasted a little like sweet marmite. Yum.

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