Once again, ChiliCult went strangely quiet… because big things were afoot.

As so often, big things start small: I finally checked an email account I use for communication around chilli (and to capture possible spam) again, and there was Dave DeWitt asking for my permission to use a photo that has to do with chilli culture in China.

One thing led to another, and I was recommended to the World Chilli Alliance as potential author for the book on chilli in China they want written.

All my previous time in China, I had used free time to see wherever I could find chilli, how it was grown and used and to be found in various aspects of Chinese culture.

Without the time and support to really focus on that writing, it had just never progressed anywhere.

Now, we’re getting somewhere:

Even with the support, the journey to a Chinese work visa has been a long one, and as I am writing, I have been in China for nearly three weeks, but bureaucracy still grinds on.

Still, I have made it to some nicely spicy food…

Laziji-Mian
Laziji-Mian

… including “upgraded” hot pot at Yanshe Featured Hot Pot, the concept restaurant of the company that is the major supporter of the book project (and currently, of the World Chilli Alliance).

Yanshe Featured Hot Pot 1
Yanshe Featured Hot Pot
Still Yanshe Featured Hot Pot
Still Yanshe Featured Hot Pot

And we made it up one of the mountains around Chongqing, to the (future) work station of the same company. Between small rice fields, various vegetables, but especially chilli and (green) Sichuan pepper, I feel like I have arrived.

Now to get the bureaucracy sorted, my wife to not just visit her parents but also me when she comes to China soon. (Of course, with all the challenges to get around, it doesn’t work out to just travel with her as planned.)

And we need to organize the research.

And I need to write.

Well, and I’ll be documenting the journey via the blog and the ChiliCult YouTube channel that I have been resurrecting!