采杨梅 Picking waxberry

I got lucky again today. Despite the early morning drizzle in Shanghai, the weather as we pulled into Suzhou was pretty agreeable for an afternoon in the hills picking waxberries. It was 10:45, approximately half an hour after we set off from Shanghai Railway Station on the 250 km/hr high-speed train.

While waiting for the driver to pick us up, I chanced upon this steel ball thingy on the road guard.

The driver kept us waiting and waiting, but I'm not complaining because of this treasure by the roadside. Come rock my heart. It was then handed over to Colin to join our CMF library of specimens. Hehe ...

OH YEAH! We're finally setting off. First stop, lunch to settle our growling stomaches.

Lunch was at a 农家乐, farmers who provide food and lodging for travelers. Most of these dishes were home-grown or caught. From the top-left, clockwise: white shrimp from Lake Tai (太湖) which is a huge lake covering parts of Suzhou and Wuxi, boiled chicken - the soup was delicious and meat tender, tofu soup with pig's organs - love tofu but didn't care for the innards, duck - tasty but meatless, deep-fried small silver fish.

We also had this - eight-treasure glutinous rice (八宝饭). Colorful, sweet and yummy, it's right up my alley.

Farm snails, or escargots if you like. Call it what you want, all I know is it's damn delicious and pretty, too.

Eggs fried with some vege which the owner claimed that she only bought a pot of this plant last year, and this was the first time it was harvested and made into a dish. It was indeed fresh and yummy.

After lunch, we set off for the hills. We had to be quick because it was a long drive and our return train was at 17:13. Plus the uphill hike was rather tedious, made much worse but muddy paths left by yesterday's torrential rains. But we made it! Lots of waxberry waiting to be picked.

On the way, we stumbled upon grape plants. Didn't know they could grow outside Mediterranean climate, it's interesting.

Colin stumbled upon this fungi, which Jay said was edible. I have no idea what the boys did with it ...

Let the berry picking begin!

Between the twelve of us, we picked like, only one basket. Oh well, it's not easy ... only the dark-colored, ripe ones could be picked. Besides, we were having way too much fun to fully concentrate on the picking. Leave it to the professionals ^_^

Yeah, speaking of fun, when was the last time we climbed trees in the city?

Flyer's putting his rock-climbing skills to test. Mmm ... I think he just scored himself an adoring female fan, hehe.

Okay, so we didn't pick so much but we wanted to eat more, so what to do but buy them off this gentleman for RMB30 per basket. These berries are really yummy. Wish they could be made into jam.

Heading out of the hills and into the city again, we passed by 太湖 once more. I savored the wind on my face, music in my ears, tall grass, colorful flowers and water as far as the eye could see. I wished it could go on forever. But I must accept that all good things in life must come to an end at some point. It's the circle of life. I have to take my place in it. Be still my heart.

And so, our lovely Sunday in Suzhou's waxberry hills ended. Till the berries bloom again next year, adieu.

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About transez

Design researcher: curious about people, passionate about life.
This entry was posted in discovery, friends, restaurants, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 采杨梅 Picking waxberry

  1. Pingback: Sloshy Saturday | a collection of wanton thots in shanghai

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