Dongshan clay ovensToday we took a drive out to Dongshan (±). The trip involved two elongated stops at some impressively maintained rest areas and a final stop at this little shop run by a friend of Yingwen’s mother, where we bought some chicken for later. Apparently the area is famous for roasted chicken, and they cook ’em in the ovens pictured here. With apologies to the vegetarians who are reading this, the smell of the global barbecue was incredible. Both sides of the street were lined with chicken ovens. The chickens were generally GF – just coated with garlic and salt.

What I found most interesting on this trip is that each onramp to this highway, I think it was Highway 3, had a policeman or several policemen standing at the intersection. I was informed that they were there to monitor the number of persons sitting in each vehicle, and that you were not allowed to enter the highway unless you had three or more persons in the car. I then asked what one would do if they did not have enough people in the car – how would they get to where they were going? Nobody could answer that one, but I could see no alternative route – no frontage roads or other highways passing through the hills. It seemed like it would cost a lot of money to place this many cops on the road for this one single, somewhat questionable purpose.

The rest areas were also interesting in that they were probably the main part of the trip. Each one had a well-designed mall with food courts and shopping inside, washrooms, parks, picnic benches, and a place to get gas. There was particular attention paid to the architecture, especially on the bridges and walkways, and one had an incredibly huge banyan tree that was serving to shade about a dozen picnic settings. American rest stops are all business – and not that attractive I might add. These ones make the journey just as fun as the destination – a lesson to be learned I think…

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