I went to Guizhou last year around late May. My classmates and I flew out of Hangzhou after driving for a couple hours from Ningbo.
We arrived that evening in Guiyang. Everything was fine and dandy until the night after.
The day after we arrived in Guiyang, we went to the new Confucius school that was built recently. Afterwards, we drove to a small city named Libo 荔波（？) which took about 4 hours.
Large Confucius statue in Guiyang
Since I had no roommate while in Shanghai, I was sharing a hotel room with Lucy, one of the tour guides that came with us from Shanghai. She didn’t speak English well so we mainly tried to communicate in Chinese.
Anyways, after arriving in Libo, we had dinner. But Lucy and her nephew, David, didn’t eat with us. Just sometime after we ate dinner, Lucy came up to me with a plastic cup filled with berries. She was urging me to try one. However, I was hesitant. I ended up talking to one of my professor’s wife. She told me it is “杨梅” or known in English, “bayberry”. She said, “Try one! it’s the season for bayberry!”
(bayberry, photo from daleysfruit.com.au)
Lucy was still urging me. I was under a lot of pressure. But I thought about it for a few seconds.
The thoughts in my head were:
“Where was this from? It’s probably not washed. I have never had it before…so what will happen?”
So, I gave it a try.
Later that night after checking into the hotel, I went to spend time with David and Lucy. We walked around the city to find a place to get something to eat even though I was full. Lucy saw a voice stand. She asked me if I wanted a juice. I said sure and was about to pay but she paid for me. She asked before picking one out if I really liked the bayberry and told her I did. So I got a bayberry fruit drink.
Who would’ve thought that night I would be up all night, sick, having everything coming out of both ends (sorry for TMI).
That entire night I was thinking, “What the hell is going on? Why did this happen? I hope it’s just a one time deal.”
But when we had to wake up around 8:00 that morning to go on an adventure to this beautiful mountain reserve, I knew it wasn’t going to miss that at all.
I was running in and out of the bathroom for about 20 minutes before Lucy saw that something was wrong.
She grabbed one of my professors and told him something is wrong with me.
When I was finishing up getting ready I heard a knock on the door.
“Hey, Jiajia, it’s me.” I let him in. Whatever look on my face told him I was sick.
“Hey, you doing okay?” he asks.
“No,” I say meekly.
I nod my head.
“You got diarrhea?”
“Yeah…” I say meekly again.
“Alright! I’ll go get medicine for you.”
He bought this medicine for me an it was these yellow pills and he told me to take 3 or 4 of them every 5-6 hours. I’m like, “alright. I’ll try it.” Chinese medicine…it actually works.
So, after taking the medicine, he outs me and says to my classmates, “If you get diarrhea, Jiajia has medicine!” Oh god, why me.
I was so sick. How did I even make it up this mountain reserve? I’m not sure. But it was BEAUTIFUL.
The far right corner picture is me with one of my professors (not the one who got me the medicine.) You can tell how sick I am because I’m so pale.
I couldn’t let go of how beautiful it was and managed to feel better later on in the afternoon. Throughout the day I only drank bottled water, ate hard-boiled eggs, and steamed bread (包子 baozi).
(In Xiao Qi Kong, Little Seven Arches, I couldn’t help but pose at these beautiful spots despite being sick.) (My favorite photo is with one of my professors and his wife, because it is one of his first selfies.)
Later that day after feeling a lot better, we were on our way back to the hotel. I was ready to eat better food! We ate a restaurant across the street. The food was good, I remember it being spicy. However, that night I was sick, again. Same symptoms…
The next morning we went to a Miao village. It was a 4 hour bus ride to the village. Oh man, I was just wanting to rest, but I did not want to miss out again. After checking into the hotel, we set out upon the village. So I pushed myself to go. We walked and took a tourist bus up to the top of the village.
(the Miao village in Guizhou)
It was a beautiful day. I remember it to the fullest extent. I was drinking water with this Vitamin C supplement that my professor’s wife gave me. But when we were at the top taking pictures, I was beginning to feel so sick.
(I like to show off my back tattoos, especially the Chinese one I got in Shanghai, Miao Village, May 2016)
You can tell I was sick based on how pale I was and how much weight I lost when I was in China. When I went to Xi’an a few weeks later, I weighed myself. I found out I weighed 133 pounds. I weigh regularly 143-145. So I lost a total of 10 pounds after my trip.
I remember getting dizzy, trying to stand up straight but I couldn’t. So I decided to go back down hill and rest. One of my classmates followed me. But I couldn’t hold it in. I was beginning to throw up orange water (the water was orange from the Vitamin C supplement).
“Jiajia, are you okay?” I was spitting the water out in the bushes.
“No, I need to go sleep back at the hotel.” So we waited downhill for my professors and the rest of my classmates.
After they came back down, one of my professors bought me some bread. It was kind of sweet, but like American bread.
That late afternoon, I went to sleep. I slept for a few hours and later was woken up by the professor who had his wife with him.
“We brought you some baozi and hard boiled eggs. Hope you feel better in the morning!”
I slept well that night, woke up a little early and went to explore some. I missed out on good food and fun, but I needed my rest.
My life lesson that I learned: Don’t eat bayberry that isn’t clean. My professor who bought me the medicine told me that if you wash it with salt water, it will get rid of the bad stuff. Or if you put it in baijiu and let it sit, then you can eat it later.
Lastly, after we got back to Shanghai, my mood was better and I begun feeling a lot better.
For my next post I’ll write about Chongqing. 🙂