Zhangye was my second stop in the Hexi Corridor. One thing that was obvious right away is that things are much cheaper out here. My hotel room was 20$, more than half the price of the one in Beijing, yet way nicer. I spent some time just wandering around town and exploring when I got the email… Unbelievably, my luggage was found!! And they were sending it to the airport here in Zhangye. Omg. I was ecstatic!! I had 200% given up on my luggage and was already trying to figure out how I would buy all new clothing.
The airport in Zhangye is barely an airport… More like a small military airstrip an hour outside of town. I took a cab there around 5pm… to find the place basically abandoned. There were a few janitors sweeping up and all of the ticket windows etc were shut. Oh man. Did I really take a taxi an hour out here for nothing??!! I searched around for someone and then, lo and behold, someone comes out and hands me my suitcase. Wow. I have never been so happy to see a luggage in my life!! I headed back to town so happy, not caring about the wasted two hours or cab fare.
Back in town, it was time to find some dinner. There is this big area here that has tons and tons of food stalls and little restaurants. I wandered around, up and down each aisle, trying to figure out what to get. To be honest, it was a bit intimidating. As mentioned, now that I am in Gansu, there is *zero* English. Anything I wants to eat or ask for I’d have to get via pointing or pantomime. Looking at various pictures on the restaurant walls and at stuff being cooked, it was hard to tell what it was. What kind of meat is it? What is mixed in with those noodles? What kind of sauce is in this dish? What even is *that* thing?! With a hundred little eateries, it was so tough to choose. What if I got something and it was horrible? Would I have to choke it down? I kept wandering and having difficulty deciding.
Skewers are big here. Yeah, yeah, I know we have skewers at home and everywhere else, but here in China hey are absolutely all over the place. Practically every street sells skewers of various kinds of raw meats. People just point at what they want, the sellers quickly grills them up and then you wander around chomping skewers. You see people wandering around eating skewers constantly. Anyways, I got a couple skewers to eat while i wandered about.
Finally, I decided on a place. I got this dish that ended up being these little riblets doused in chili’s and Sichuan peppercorns and a delicious sauce. So good!