After finishing our first day of painting at the Green Ram Temple we wandered over to cute Quintai Street which is relatively newly built in traditional styled Chinese architecture.  We had worked up quite an appetite and wandered into a popular and busy looking restaurant.  It turned out that it was a very popular hotpot restaurant so this would be a new experience for Kelsey and me. 
You sit at the table that has a large hole in the middle into which they insert a large double pot of broths.  The one on the right contained a very strongly spiced oil in which to cook the food and on the left we were lucky that they offered a totally vegetarian seasoned broth.  You then order all of the different vegetables which include greens, roots and tofu and other protein foods that you wish to eat.  Wait for the broth to boil.  Drop in your vegetables and tofu and once it is cooked in about 3 minutes you fish it out, season it with some sauces that you made out of spices, soy sauce, cilantro, sesame oil, and garlic and voila--your own hot pot.  A word of warning--the seasoned oil, here in Sichuan province, is very very spicy and hot!!  So beware.  I mostly ate my food cooked in the light broth.  Kelsey was more daring and ate more of the spicy food. 

Down the street we saw that there is another Sichuan Opera Tea House.  We might visit this one for a show later in our  trip.

Angie drinking tea
Driving home in the taxi, Kelsey and I had to laugh about our many new experiences today.  We knew we were definitely not in Canada, when after spending a lovely late afternoon sipping tea (i.e. drinking gallons) in the Green Ram Teahouse,  we had to use the washroom.  Luckily I was able to warn her about the very primative state of  the Temple's washroom facilities.  The ladies room had a long row of stalls, while they had slight side walls, they were without doors and therefore lacking in privacy.  Luckily when I went in I was the only one in there.  The toilet facilities were just a long trough that ran through all of the stalls under the separating walls.  You have to bring your own tissue paper and there was no visible means of flushing the trough, nor were there any garbage cans and the tissues are not to get thrown in the trough.  I felt wierd walking out without flushing but as I neared the outer open door to the whole length of stalls, I saw a large tank mounted near the ceiling and suddenly there was a huge rush of noise as a column of water, the size of a mini tsunami, rushed down the 50 foot length of trough.  Thank goodness I was out of the stall or had I been doing my business while the wave passed through I might have been startled and fallen in.  As you leave the facilities there is a common semi outdoor sink with a very scary bar of communal soap to wash your hands.  Luckily I brought along hand sanitizer.  Fortunately for Kelsey I was able to warn her about the state of the washroom and the process.  Unfortunately for Kelsey she could not hold it until we got home.  More unfortunate for Kelsey, the cleaning lady decided she needed to mop around the open door frame of her stall just as she was trying to do her business.  Well, atleast there was a washroom??!!??

On another cheerier note-- after our dinner we tried to leave a tip for our waitress.  After she would not accept the money from our hand we tried to hide it on the table.  When she spotted the tip she came running after us as we were leaving the restaurant to return the money.  We were definitely NOT in Canada.  Here  in China they will not take a tip for a restaurant meal.  Wow, I guess we'll save some money!

7/12/2012 03:22:58 pm

good post


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