Where\'s the Beef... No Lamb? - 110 kilometers Small Village -- Sun, Jul 31, 2005 This is not a story for vegetarians -- sorry... please close your eyes.
We were supposed to bike 170km today -- well according to my plan -- but we didn't make it and it turned out to be a really interesting blunder. We had to stay in this small village -- the last one before 70km of desert that would led to Zhangye.
As I fixed a flat tire, Fang Wen Guang and Ray Wen looked around town. They reported back that they couldn't find a restaurant but there was a guy that was willing to let us stay at his "motel". I was biking to the other village (ie the stores just across the highway...), pondering a dinner of crackers and a packaged bolonga like substance, when I was stopped by a herd of lamb.
I jokingly said to Fang Wen Guang -- "how much do you think one of them lambs is". He looked at me and said -- "are you serious"? I told him just to ask. The sheep herder responded, "170 quai". Now that is a handsome some to a sheepherder and many Chinese -- maybe 1/4 of many peoples monthly salary. We taught for a second and then ran to catch him -- "Sold".
We spent the next four hours, selecting our sheep, watching it be killed, skined and de-gutted, and then fryed right up in front of us in the farmer's home. We sat back and enjoyed a few beers in their friendly abode -- complete with a TV with two channels and basic electricty -- it was actually pretty darn nice.
Next came the lamb -- yes the freshest lamb I have ever had in my life -- pretty damn tasty. The farmer wanted some rounds of beijou (rice liquor that the Chinese love to torment foreigners with) but by now it was 12pm and we needed to hit the sack. The farmer gladly offered us to same at his house with him -- an offer we couldn't refuse. The three of us snuggled into our two beds and enjoyed the musty, but somewhat cleansing smell of this farmer's home.
We woke up to lamb boiling in the morning -- a little lamb soup to bid us farewell. Still better than most lamb I have had at home -- merely eight hours old. Our lamb was a good lamb and we must praise him for his service. He filled our bellies well -- we will miss him -- but we have his horns to remember him by and the service he has provided to Bike Across China... ;)