Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pijiu Yu

One of the supposed specialty dishes in Yangshuo is pijiu yu, fish cooked in beer. I decided to have a go at it, and am here to report that, much like cormorant fishing, it is somewhat overrated, overpriced, and gimmicky.

The dish aside, I had ordered a bottle of the local beer, as is my custom whenever we hit a new part of the country. (Frankly, it is hard to tell the difference. I'm more and more convinced that it is all the same beer, just with a different label in each region.)

Now, sitting next to us were two rowdy tables of young people (from Guangzhou, as it turned out). I had the sneaking suspicion that, eventually, one of them would be drunk enough to get up the courage to ask the waiguoren to ganbei (down a glass together). So, planning for this contingency, I milked my bottle very slowly.

Sure enough, the expected moment came, and I was ready. I had even saved enough beer to return the favor a few minutes later.

Everybody happy, we sauntered out into the Yangshuo night, finding it hard to believe that, just a few hours before, we had woken up in a hotel in Guilin. What a day!

~Steve

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