• Barbara Murphy-Shannon

China Day 10 -Doggie vs Catty and the Other White Meat.

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

I hope I can get out of here soon. If not tomorrow the next day.

I think I’ve had enough of China.

It’s tiring and frustrating,…. correction!

Chris the Dick!

Chris is tiring and frustrating.

I’ve finished reading Tia-Pan and need a new distraction. But this time I want one that can hug back.

The next day I got up early to book my flight to Canton but first had to go to the bank to exchange money. Chris (not the dick), an Australian teacher in her mid-thirties, tall and thin showed me where the bank was before we took a bus ride to Black Dragon Lake for the day.

Black Dragon Lake is located at the foot of Xiangshan Mountain. Also known as Jade Spring Park or Temple of Dragon King to local people, is a lake famous for its clear water, thousand-year-old trees, and picturesque landscape. The park is about 1 kilometer north from the center of Lijiang Ancient City. The fountainhead spurting waters to form the Black Dragon Lake covers 40,000 square meters, with mountains and trees surrounding. The trademark of Black Dragon Lake is the reflection of Yulong Snow Mountain, or Jade Dragon Snow Mountain) on the lake.

It’s very cool that Chris, the Aussie, can speak Mandarin Chinese. It makes everything so much easier: buying tickets, finding the bathroom, and ordering food at a restaurant.

The sky was blue and the air was crisp. We walked around the park enjoying the beautiful temples, flowers, and lake. It was a good day.

When we got back to Kunming later that day I wanted to go to the open market and find a good pair of chopsticks for a gift for Bob. (“A guest never shows up without a gift for your hostess” is something that has been ingrained in my brain…thanks Mom.)

The outdoor market in China is nothing like you’ve ever seen. They sell everything and I mean everything. They sell every animal you can think of and no, they are not pets.

They eat everything in China.

I watched as a man purchased a hunk of meat. They wrapped it up in newspaper with twine. He then tied it to the back of his bike and rode off.

Then another man wanted only half a fish. They cut the fish down the middle splitting it into two pieces. I’m not sure how they did this but they cut it so the half not being sold was flapping around in the water...alive!

As we approached another vendor I could see these small, skinned animals hanging.

"No, it couldn’t be?" I thought.

"I think they're pigs?"

"Hopefully not dogs."

I didn't want to know.

As we were walking through the market a group of teenage girls approached us and giggling walking arm in arm. At first, I thought how nice to see them so happy with each other.

But…something was off. I didn’t understand what they were saying, but I could tell they were being catty or gossipy.

As we passed them, Chris, the Aussie, said they were talking about us and said we are so ugly and old.

“Ya, really old, I’m twenty-four years old.”

Chris said, “watch this.”

Chris then turned to the girls and said to them in Mandarin Chinese, “No, you are ugly.”

The look of surprise on their faces was priceless…as they ran away screaming and giggling.

Chris and I had a good laugh.

We didn’t find any good chopsticks at the market so we went to the Green Lake Hotel, a luxury hotel by China standards, but everything was crap quality and I was getting frustrated.

I ended up buying a pair of Jade ones at the Kunming hotel. More than I wanted to spend but I was running out of time.

We picked up a copy of the China Daily (an English-language daily newspaper owned by the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party) and went to our room to relax and read all the propaganda or “fake news.”

That evening I thought of Bob. I realized he’s a really nice guy after spending too much time with Chris the dick. I wonder if we’ll get closer when I get back to Hong Kong. I wonder if he misses me too. I hope he’s able to see me and I can stay with him at his apartment.

I thought about what it might be like to be his girlfriend and rehearsed how I would answer him if he asked me to be with him when I get back to Hong Kong. I would imagine it in my head, then tell myself to stop, then mentally practice some more.

My pretend conversation in my head started turning… I would imagine

us talking, late in the night, he leans over to kiss me, faces close, then he would reach for me and…

Good night!


This is a true story that chronicles my rebellious journey when I was 24 years old backpacking around the world looking for solace after the end of an abusive marriage (ok to escape). An intensely graphic and heartfelt memoir of self-discovery is about how getting lost can be where you belong, how traveling to new cultures and meeting new people helps you heal (they don't judge), find your voice and remember who you really are and want to be. It is certain to inspire anyone who has ever woken up in a life they don’t want to be in. Many life lessons and some bad decisions (sorry Mom) along the way. Buckle in! It's going to be a bumpy ride.

xoxo, Barbara