Still feeling the heat in Cuandixia

Today our kids were thinking of their friends at home going back to school. At lunch, Sophie got her first lesson in never eating the little red pepper. Ever.

We were on our way to the ancient village of Cuandixia, about two hours west of Beijing. We stopped at a little hole-in-the-wall that our guide knew well, and ordered a few plates of food including a spicy dish with chicken and peanuts.

“Mmmmm…. peanuts!” thought Sophie as she shovelled a few mouthfuls in before I could warn her about the peppers. Poor girl had tears running out of her eyes while downing coke and half a pot of tea. When we finally reached Cuandixia 45 minutes after leaving the restaurant, she whispered that her tongue was still tingling!

Cuandixia is a quaint little village more than 500 years old with well-preserved courtyards dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. It lies in a valley of green-covered mountains, and the buildings are covered in stone and woodcarvings, paintings and calligraphy.

We were the only tourists there, but the place was busy with over 400 art students taking a university prep course to beef up their portfolios for admission into art school. Kids were painting and drawing everywhere, and the photo mobbing of the girls continued. Claire photo mob

Before going home, we hiked up the side of the mountain to get a good view of the village. As we neared the top, a truck came by playing the Happy Birthday song. Thinking it was an ice cream truck, we found out it was actually a garbage truck that alerts residents to bring their garbage to the curb with the music!

7 Comments on “Still feeling the heat in Cuandixia

  1. Hope your tongue feels better Sophie and I hope you guys are having a great time on your trip!

  2. Hello Grandchildren Buddies.
    We are busy reading your comments about eating pepper and looking at the fantastic views. I am jealous of you girls.
    When I was your age I also was traveling around the world but not as a tourist but as a refugee. You must be having a great time. I envy you guys.
    I love you all very much
    Love from Grandpa Armido and Grandma


  3. hi sophie – I am really sorry to hear about your “burning-up” mouth. most of us have had a similar experience, certainly I have! for future help: we were advised to ask for sauces on the side when we travelled in new mexico and to taste them before eating by using a fork. when you’re in india you can order “raita,” a yogurt based side dish that will counteract overly spicey dishes. grandpa has had the same experience as you have and today he sends you his best wishes. much love from the both of us.

  4. Hi everybody
    Lachlan went to school this morning . Lovely day here. I’d love to see what all theses art students were doing . There must be a market for art if that many kids want to train as artists . We send our love.

    • Hi Triona,

      I actually took lots of pictures of the kids and their art. Remind me when we get home!


  5. OMG, poor Sophie. I’ve also eaten the dreaded little, red pepper, and I feel her pain from another continent! Hope her tongue has stopped tingling!

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