In this relaxing and quiet spot, we enjoyed another meal selected by our hosts who, as usual, refused to let us pay for anything: We had fish served three ways -- in soup, fried and poached with sauce, we had chicken, (in fact we witnessed the chicken's demise in the side yard and his reappearance 30 minutes later in a tureen of soup), tofu with a tangy chive sauce, various vegetables and sundry other dishes. (By sundry, of course, I mean "cicada." See my earlier post. "This is about bugs.") And this was lunch, remember. As usual, when we had sampled everything and could eat no more, the host asked if he should order more food -- (noodles? rice?).
My friend and I just relaxed and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the countryside, away from the traffic and noise of the city. (One quibble: the Chinese need a Lady Bird Johnson to make public littering unacceptable social behavior. I spent some time collecting discarded wrappers and plastic bottles off the beach). We admired the rock-skipping prowess of the young son of the couple who owned the restaurant. I never saw anyone skip a rock so high off the water. I was thinking that this is something kids do all around the world, and have done as long as there has been water, rocks and opposable thumbs. According to this Wikipedia article, there's a word for it in many, many different languages. And that's about the deepest thought I had all day -- this was really a day for unwinding and thinking about nothing! And then you realize, hey, when was the last time I was this completely relaxed and had nothing to do but pick bits of cicada wing out of my teeth?
We stayed at the restaurant for supper, which included leftovers from lunch, (more cicada, anyone?) plus 'Uncle Joe's' catch, I haven't mentioned that there was also a fair amount of toasting with beer and baiju. But we got back to the hotel safe and sound, after a wonderful day in the Chinese countryside.