Back to my second home in Zhaoqing. travel blog

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy.

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy.

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy and Uncle Hardy.

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy and Granny Lin.

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy, Uncle Ah Hong and...

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy and two Grannies.

Long awaited baby girl with her beautiful Mummy, two Grannies, and two...

Trying to get a giggle out of the little one!

Trying to get a giggle out of the little one!

With my beautiful family.

And more of them, even got Melrose in this one.

And all of them now.

And all of them now.

Andy, little Andy and cheeky Qianyu.

Andy, little Andy and cheeky Qianyu.

A somewhat busy day today. Lunch with Denise over the road at the little cheap restaurant. And around that, mostly packing and sorting what I need to take home, and what can stay here until I return. Hopefully that will be in October.

We had arranged to pick Melrose up on the way to the restaurant, so I messaged her to let her know we were on our way. And amazingly, we got through the city smoothly, to collect her from near the Golden Diamond Hotel.

I love going out for a meal with these guys, because they know places that I would never ever find. I would not even know of their existence, but I am so lucky to experience their finds.

The restaurant we went to was quite a way to the east of the city centre, along near the riverside, down in a little hidden village area. When we got there, Denise's Mum, Qianyu, Auntie, Auntie's friend, and Grandma were already there. They had come in Auntie's car. Parking is certainly a premium here in this district.

We were at a fish restaurant, and Denise took us downstairs to see the huge fish in the tanks.

She explained how the 'menu' worked. Firstly we ordered a fish, according to the weight for the number of people we were planning to feed. Our fish weighed 9.5 kilos.

The first dish served was a big bowl of congee with fish in it. Very tasty. Congee is rice porridge, or gruel, overcooked rice in a lot of water. A common breakfast dish in Guangdong Province.

Next a big bowl was set in the middle of the table with broth in it, with a gas burner underneath. I am glad that Denise explained how things worked, because first to be cooked in the hotpot was the head of the fish, chopped up, and which Melrose and I left for those who enjoy sucking fish eyes out of sockets!! Probably silly of us, but I simply cannot bring myself that far!!

Next was a dish that looked like a pancake, but was scrambled egg with fish in it. I missed that one, as I was outside waiting for the Hu family to find parking and get here.

At last all the Fuda villagers got here, and we were honored to see Andy's Mum, his #1 sister with her four month old baby, all four brothers, and of course Lily and little Andy. What a gathering. It is still not at all common to get so many family members together at one time.

Next to come out to the table was the fillets off the fish, cut into smaller pieces and cooked in the hotpot. This was not too bad, for Chinese fish, but still not my favourite meat to eat here.

Last of the meat dishes, was the backbone of the fish, also broken down into smaller sections, which had been baked before coming out. Now that was delicious. It was finished cooking in the hotpot, and I think that perhaps it is the baking that made all the difference. And of course there is still a lot of meat between the bones of a big fish, with no danger of getting tripped up by those pesky little bones!

At the end was all the vegetables, thrown in to the broth and cooked. Lastly of course, the broth gets shared out as well. By the time all the preceding courses have been cooked, the soup is pretty tasty too.

A very new dining experience for Melrose and I, and one we really enjoyed.

Before everyone left, it was time for photos, of course. Denise and Gary went with Qianyu, heading to their home, and looking forward to seeing them tomorrow, before I leave town.

Little Andy is still painfully shy, and hopefully one day that will change, but I don't expect that to be any time soon! Funny little guy. I had asked Andy if he was as shy, when he was the same age, but of course he cannot remember. He would never have been exposed to 'strangers' like his little guy is though. I doubt he ever left the village at the age of nearly 3!

Andy took me back to the medical college, along with his sister and her baby, and Lily and little Andy. Little Andy actually spoke to me as I got out of the car. First time ever. He actually said 'Bye bye' and waved to me. I think that what he was really saying was how glad he was to see me getting out of his car!!

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