Monday, June 27, 2011

How to lose 2 kg in 2 weeks without even trying

Step 1: Board evening flight to Chengdu, China; eat in-flight meal; steal airsickness bag in an extraordinary display of prescience.
Land in Chengdu 5 hours later, feel spirits sink at sight of the omnipresent smog, visible even at night.
Endure hair-raising van ride through said city; driver reassures you and other passengers with, “Don’t worry about the other cars; there’s no racing tonight!”

Step 2: Turn up nose at extremely alien hotel breakfast – cold spicy noodle with assorted pickled veg, or what appear to be veg, watery, bland congee, and watery bland soybean milk.
Spend the afternoon tramping around hateful smoggy city because hotel stipulates 12:00 checkout and your train only leaves at 20:59.
Arrive back at hotel, which is where van driver in Step 1 will pick you up and send you to the train station. Realise you’ve left something extremely important in the restroom of a cafĂ© in a mall on the other side of town.
Cue Amazing Race sprinting-with-backpack-to-catch-the-right-bus sequence to and from destination, and within stipulated time limit (30 minutes). Keep winning.

Step 3: Board Chengdu-Lhasa train.
Spend 44 hours and 45 minutes on train (distance: 3360 km; ultra-ultra distance ftw).
Practice ultra-hardcore bladder control on account of most mainland Chinese being too illiterate to comprehend “Please flush by pressing green button” even when it’s written in basic Mandarin text with a big red arrow pointing to said button.
Lose appetite from being oxygen-deprived. Refuse all solid food.

Step 4: Arrive in blessed! spacious! Lhasa! Where it feels like you can fall straight up into the biggest! bluest! sky! you have ever seen! This is how you conquer gravity!

Meals for the next 9 days: (breakfast) watery rice congee with an assortment of pickled veg more appetising than what is found in Chengdu, (lunch and dinner) al dente rice with assortment of greasy fried veg, garnished sparingly with strips of pork.
Drinks for the next 9 days: hot water, instant coffee, hot tea, yak butter tea (yum yum), a sip of barley wine.
Spend the next 9 days feeling deliriously happy at being at the top of the world, gasping from serious hypoxia from walking too quickly and being too happy, and getting through 5-hour bus rides.
Attempt jump shots on mountaintops where the wind-chill factor is -10 degrees Celsius (or something like that).

Drink in the scenery even though your teeth are chattering and you can’t feel your face or fingers anymore, even under your scarf.
Persist jumping as clothes suddenly become looser on day 3.
Narrowly avoid mooning military personnel.

Step 5: Fly back to Chengdu for remainder of trip. Take an evening stroll through Jingli, where there is an assortment of “local” street food mostly sold on skewers and tasting of nothing in particular, except for the grilled mutton (meaty), and the fried ice-cream (too sweet).
Marvel at the warm, tapai-esque dessert, re: cross-border similarities.
Feel stomach protesting previous night’s dinner, which contained more grease than Mr Schuester’s hair.
Further alimentary aggravation ensues when senior group members persist in sharing their street food finds with you (grilled potato balls topped with teriyaki sauce, really??)
Perform emergency colonic clearance procedure at the nearest KFC.
Consume nothing but sad rice gruel for the next 2 days; have big, fuck-off recovery dinner on the last night in Chengdu.

Step 6: Fly home. Skip bland in-flight meal.
Get home. Weigh self – 2 kilos lighter!

It’s easy when you know how.


Snuze said...

Beauty through suffering FTW!

I am not surprised by the food you described; you went to a part of the world with little aerable land with NO understanding of spices. *pats*

But yak butter tea is nice? You trolling me?

Angela Gripesalot said...

Suffering should be an easier process XD

Also, yak butter tea tastes like cream of something soup, only thinner. It might have been a reaction to the prolonged lack of spices wot caused my liking for it, as it was one of the more strongly flavoured things we found.

Snuze said...

When I heard how it was prepared, I shudder. I think that is why the Roof of the World never featured in the list of places I want to go for a visit. Too difficult to get food.


But perhaps Uzbekistan or something. Also lots of mountains and crazy blue skies.