Today Typhoon Nepartak reaches peak ferocity. Xiamen has been cloaked by grey clouds and the spotless blue sky is no more. Unfortunately due to the typhoon, our scheduled activities were cancelled. Of course this didn’t stop me from venturing/exploring, in fact it served as a perfect opportunity to do so.
Tiefu proposed that we take a trip to a local Burger restaurant – despite the fact I wanted to avoid Western food as much as possible. So, dressed as I would for an English Summer (as the temperature was still in the region of 30 degrees) with the addition of a fluorescent full-body poncho, we set off for the restaurant on Daxue Lu (University Road).
Having been battered by the rain like never before, we were desperate to tuck into lunch as we arrived at the quaint restaurant. It was an incredibly small vendor half way down a less well-kept alleyway. But their choice of music/playlist was a promising sign for the quality of their food. We devoured a pineapple, bacon & beetroot burger sandwiched between two rather disconcerting black brioche buns – but easily one of the best burgers I’ve tasted in a long time!
But what next? I continuously asked Tiefu where he was leading me, as the roads meandered further afield into a far less developed region of Xiamen, yet he remained silent in his replies. That was until we found ourselves outside a bright yellow store-front; he entrance to a massage parlour. So, it looked like I was finally being shown a traditional Chinese social activity. Although I was hesitant, given the fact my feet were freezing cold and red-raw from being drenched by Typhoon Nepartak, I was quietly grateful for I could see a bucket of boiling hot water waiting for my feet to be plunged into – in preparation for the massage. It transpired that despite the fact I am entirely unfamiliar with such ‘social activities’; activities that would test anyone’s ability to withstand pressure points and uncomfortable hand positionings, I managed to keep my cool more than both Tiefu and another Chinese girl sat on the opposite side of the room. And for just over £2, I couldn’t complain about the value-for-money as the supposed ‘foot’ massage turned into a neck, back and foot massage (if you can call it that…), complete with a nail trim and callous removal – carried out with some rather unnervingly crude metal tools/blades. Despite my apprehensions, I would never have thought I’d admit this but actually, I would happily go again!
Then to round off a far less chaotic day, we regrouped with some of the others (that were happy to eat Chinese food as opposed to Western) and went to China City again for dinner. This time we decided to dine at Grandma’s restaurant, a slightly cheaper alternative to Yanyu but almost equally as tasty! Believe it or not, here I managed to try (and enjoy!) both duck’s tongue and chicken feet.