Lake it or not
Jiajia and I spent this afternoon walking round Mengzi's famous lake (after a very lazy morning snoozing in the hotel). This bridge is reputed to be the one where, in the mists of time, a devoted wife used to bring her husband his lunch each day as he studied on the lake's small island. But regularly finding the noodles cold by the time she got there, she hit on the idea of bringing him a piping hot bowl of broth with a thin layer of oil to retain the heat, and then adding the ingredients (thin meat and vegetable slices, etc) once there, to cook in the still hot soup. Thus, "cross-the-bridge-noodles" was invented.
After the lake, we headed into the old town where I started to recognise certain buildings and shops from my time there, 17 years ago. We also spotted some ladies in their distinctive minority groups clothing, though a lot less than I used to see. As clouds darkened, we headed for the new museum.
The HongHe Prefectural Museum was huge and largely deserted. The first few floors were a little dull, but the last floor had some excellent displays of ethnic minority clothes, musical instruments, tools and traditional ceremonies. Ava particularly loved the embroidery and silver decorations on the various costumes and baby-carriers. Outside, there was a huge thunderstorm and we spent a few minutes watching the lightning, from the safety of the museum!
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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