LJ can mean Li Jiang, but it can also mean... ;) (China Part 1)

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Look at my siao hair

So I finally came back from China and it's actually not as bad as it seems! By not as bad I mean at least I haven't seen anyone eating dog meat there.

Contrary to popular belief, many people there are actually friendly. Congruent to popular belief, they still spit everywhere they go. Even in 5 star hotel lobbies. No shit.

Our purpose of the trip was to really immerse ourselves in the culture and understand the lives of the rural people in the Lashihai village of Lijiang, Yunnan.

By right we're also supposed to develop our media development skills there (???) but we did absolutely nothing related to Mass Comm in the end so.........

By the way it's called Lashihai village so it's like La Shi (拉屎) Hai (海) as in Shit Sea hahahahahaha funny right but the people I told this to didn't laugh so maybe I'm just retarded. FUNNY WHAT

We took China Eastern Airlines there and I was already feeling apprehensive because an earthquake also struck Yunnan the day before we were supposed to go there.

So it's safe to say that I was pretty much convinced that I was going to die. I even PRAYED before I left the house. PRAYED. I know. I don't even have a religion

But before we flew we were sent off by Milo, Kiat, Augustine, Jeremy, Nathania, Ryan and Jannah!!! So nice of them although it's mostly for the rest and not so much of me BUT ANYWAY

You know what wasn't nice? The idiot airplane food. We had a choice between an omelette (it was then I found out it's called ji dan bing literally meaning egg biscuit) and pork vermicilli. The pork vermicilli was better, but it was a general consensus that both really sucked. I didn't even finish everything ;(

burn in hell you shit food

I look like an ugly Natalie Tran with an obiang-looking but comfortable blanket provided

Then we all just fell asleep while Mr Yeo was happily playing Bejeweled on his tablet.

We stayed at the Green Education Center, short for GEC for 10 days during our trip only for the weekdays. We went to the city area to stay at (relatively) HEAVENLY 4 or 5-star hotels during the weekends but I'll tell you more in a later post.

And this is why everybody says Yunnan is a beautiful, scenic place. In the coming days we'd also realise why that would be the only thing they'd say about Yunnan.

The GEC was set up by this person named Mr Chen and there is actually an anaerobic digester installed underground which produces biogas for energy. So essentially whatever we shit out goes in there and becomes gas for our stove to cook stuff.

I have to say this place is really green and set up by some hardcore environmentalists y'all.

We were once chided on for using their electric stove without permission because it used a lot of energy. They were given a fridge by others too but they didn't use it since it also uses a lot of energy. So instead, they converted it into a cupboard.

I know.

But it's admirable because you can tell Mr Chen is really passionate about what he's doing and he actually comes from a university in New York but decided to stay in some puny village just so that he could do his part to be green!

The last time I was this passionate about something was when I tried so hard to cook onion rings from scratch but even that turned out to be a hot mess. Twice.

The place was really like those old palace places buildings whatever you'd see in those ancient Chinese shows with a courtyard and everything! Which made me worry that there wouldn't be a water heater to shower with but thankfully there was.

At the GEC we stayed with two people - Mr Chen himself and a helper named Si Nan who was like our mother because she arranged all the transportation for us and all that. We also stayed with many other inhabitants over there!

Chickenz that will make a shit load of noise every. single. morning

And three little pigs! Awwww. They're cute but they also STINK. Made me almost gag on numerous occasions. I know one of them is called Mao Mao but I can't even identify which of the three.

Welcome to ma crib! I shared a room with Ian, Angus and Timothy. It wasn't as bad as I thought! There was decent bedding, no bed bugs and the blankets were soooo comfortable.

Until I found out that all along I'd been sleeping on a bedframe that's been dented downwards and I don't even know if it's caused by me or not so that's creepy. I'd spend the remaining nights sleeping on the side that's not dented in constant fear.

Of course what is a trip to China without talking about the toilets? The toilets at the GEC are, surprise surprise, squat toilets! It's like a normal squat toilet but there's just a hole inside (no water) which leads to the biogas thing, and they even specifically state that for pee we should flush with half a ladle of water and for shit one full ladle!

The worst part is that you can't put the toilet paper in so after wiping your ass you have to throw the toilet paper into this rubbish bin in front of you. Which is our job to clear throughout the trip. I know right? (More funny stories later)

I had the honour of being the first shitter because I am not one to hold my shit in and let's just say it's a very eye-opening, nostril-closing experience.

They then made a HUGE deal about it the next day because they were showing us the facilities in the area including the stove where they cooked an egg so there was a lot of "TRAVIS THIS IS COOKED BECAUSE OF YOUR SHIT YESTERDAY" "THIS IS THE PRODUCT OF YOUR PRODUCT"  going on

On the very next day we were given a tour around the facilities and taught how to do some chores. So I was the very first person to wake up in the morning to bathe. (for the very reason that my hair takes ages to dry) The water is hot but the weather is SHIT cold in the morning so the moment I turned off the tap my nipples started to chip off.

Anyway there wasn't much to show around except this hellhole

Eeeuurrrghh shit water! Lol no it's actually the remainder of whatever's left from the fermentation process. It doesn't even stink! Whatever that we smelt there was really just the pigs.

Ben even had the opportunity to really put his whole head in and smell it and it doesn't smell of anything. They use it as fertiliser to grow plants or something.

When it came to doing actual chores I was appointed to go cut grass and feed pigs which in all honesty was quite fun! The other team had to shovel up horse shit outside for the biogas digester.

All we had to do was to just wear a glove and hold a sickle and just cut the grass off since they had a garden nearby. Convenient!

Throughout the process of cutting grass and going on to feed them I constantly kept hearing people saying that "Oh the pigs will eat anything la!"

And then it hit me...

I think pigs are misunderstood creatures.

What if you were born on this Earth to automatically be under the power of humans... where you are not able to communicate with them... where you sound like "URRRG" more than "oink"... where you have no choice but to eat whatever is given...

Why must everybody keep saying that pigs will eat everything while conveniently throwing all the shit to them?! *cue emotional music*

What if in actual fact, pigs are really fussy eaters? It's just that they get so hungry easily all the time that they're left with no choice but crap to eat isn't it! Do you think they like eating their own shit?! AND CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THE PIGGY BANKS?

Maybe all they really want is a big fat juicy medium rare steak. RIGHT? These pigs don't deserve this kind of treatment and I shall henceforth campaign for the freedom of food choice for pigs. I have found my calling to be a pig activist everybody.

Totally misunderstood. I FEEL YOU PIGS sorry I'm getting too emotional let's move on (brown pig getting some backdoor action)

The next day we took a 20 minute walk from the GEC to another part of the village that is full of faaaarms!

Emo sunflowers because they're facing the ground. Har har har.

A pile of horse shit that is SO beautifully taken by me. Ooo la la

Unfortunately they weren't as fresh as I hoped because you have not seen fresh until you've seen it literally smoking.

Charmaine, Angus and I all took our own photo of the pile of shit so that Mr Yeo can critique it hahaha. Talk about putting our digital photography skills to everyday usage.

The others said my photo was better but sadly Mr Yeo thought Charmaine's was the best because I cut off Mr Pradheep's head in mine. Sian jips


And our purpose of going to the faraway place was to pick peaches!

Ok, not exactly.

It's to pick up the paper bags that the peaches were wrapped in. Yay

The farmers do that so as to maintain the moisture in the peaches. I didn't quite enjoy it because of the amount of squatting involved (as if the toilets weren't enough) which kept giving me headaches and blurry vision but other than that it's all good.


Here are some photos of me doing some hard work oh ho ho

Are you turned on yet

with Ben

The peaches look green because they weren't exposed to sunlight. The redness usually comes out after around 5 days of sunlight exposure apparently.

Chao bin

With this picture I'd also like to announce that I am now part of a band called 中国孩子 (China Children) please look out for our debut single which will never be released.

Looks nice?

I don't think so buddy

This picture is funny on its own

After we were done Si Nan then told us to slowly tear off the paper from the peaches that were still on the trees but that didn't go very well because a lot of us just ended up breaking the peach from the tree so I think Si Nan was quite pissed.

We ended up with huuuuge bags full of peaches to bring back because they have all fallen from the floor. It's like a reward from our incompetency.

That's how many peaches we had. (The bag stretched till the floor) Check out Mr Pradheep's "Travis can you stay on-task" face

The peaches ended up sucking ass for me (and I'm not saying ass because of its appearance) because they are hard like apples! Peaches are soft one right? Yet everyone was eating them up like nobody's business.

I was hoping there'd still be some for me when they actually become ripe but at the rate everyone was gobbling them up I gave up.

Meanwhile a toad takes a shit


Group pics!

Me, Angus, Ian, Timothy and a dunnowhat face Charmaine

Here is also a pretty badass picture of me that, if I may say so myself, is totally an accurate representation of the person who I am, and you people should be very scared.

Yea who am I kidding right

But I do look pretty badass

k I'm done showing off

I'd also like to add that this is the first travel post where I actually stuck to my self-set deadline woohoo efficient is me ok bye 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6