I’m climbing Northern Yunnan’s Tiger Leaping Gorge. I’ve met a German and a French on the bus, and we walk up the mountain together. At one point, we come by a lonely stall high up in the mountains selling fruits and veggies. I point at some leaves and ask the woman selling these things:
“What is this?”
She: “Ganja. Would you like to buy some?”
I: “No, thanks.” Instead, I buy a cactus fruit. “How many people come by here every day?”
She: “Currently, not many. Around 20. Foreigners like hiking up Tiger Leaping Gorge, Chinese not that much. When the National Holidays start next week, there will be more people though.”
I: “How do you get these things up here everyday?”
She (pointing at the sunshade umbrella and the table): “I keep these things hidden nearby.” And then: “I carry the fruits and the veggies all the way from my home to this place every morning in a basket on my back. If there are fruits I can’t sell on one single day, I carry them back home in the evening.”
I: “Where do you get the fruits and veggies from?”
She: “I grow the cucumbers, pears and cactus fruits in my garden. The oranges, bananas and apples are from the local market. Every Friday there’s a market in a neighbouring village.”
I: “How about the Ganja, does it grow wild here?”
She: “People grow it in their backyards. It’s against the law, but foreigners like to smoke it.”
I: “Are you here everyday?”
She: “I am, I’m here even when it rains.”
When we’re done with eating the fruits, we say thanks to the woman and walk on further up the mountain.
Have you ever climbed a mountain in China? I’d love to read about your experiences.