Again Liubov made a stellar breakfast and then we parted ways. Despite all her busy schedule, she set aside any available time to be an awesome host.
I took all my belongings and headed for Lan Ting for their famous chicken with brown sauce (ji gui jjang). It was insanely hard to find the place. Their restaurant sign was only written in Chinese and it was tiny. Also, the name of the restaurant closely resembled the name of a nearby hotel. I ended up taking wrong directions from many of the local people. I began getting the feeling I was becoming more familiar circling the same four streets than the locals.
When I finally arrived, the man at the entrance taking orders quickly waved me off when I asked him if I was at the correct restaurant. He sharply yelled at me in Chinese and went about speaking to the other customers. I proceeded to ask the crowd of customers that were waiting to get in. I met a couple who actually knew some English and they confirmed I was at the right place. The guy’s name was Ru Yi and the girl was Wu Dee. They were engaged and their visit to Shanghai was to look for a suitable apartment. The couple had a pleasant and calm demeanor.
The wait to get seated was too long (as they only had five small tables). Wu Dee entered the tiny restaurant to place a to-go order of their most popular dish for me. It just so happened that it was their time to be seated and they invited me to sit with them while my order was being made.
They ordered three different dishes (I mixed phonetic English and Korean to get the closest pronunciation).
- Mee Yen 훠 황유 (fried little yellow croaker)
- Gee 구 jang (chicken with brown sauce)
- Jio shang tsao to (head of grass)
They insisted I share in their meal, saying they ordered too much food anyways. All the dishes were very good, but I actually liked the fried fish and the head of grass more than the chicken. I ended up taking my order as dinner for my 17 hour train ride to Xi’an. I was grateful for their extension of kindness.
I arrived at the station and I was off. Despite there being a separate shelf for luggage, I shared my bed with my bag to avoid any risk of getting robbed. My bed was located on the highest level, so it was good that it was isolated. However, with my wrist still being an issue, I had trouble getting my bag as well as myself up and down the bed.
I was hoping for some good views of the countryside via train like I experienced in India, but I was only met with occasional towns that had severe smog problems. It was then I realized Shanghai did not really have smog issues.
The train ride itself was uneventful, but it was good to get some rest and relax by myself.