Here we are back in Shanghai after a whirlwind week of travel back and forth. Barb Buczewski from Moody Middle and Michael Wurtz, an old friend of Barb’s from Hawaii landed in Shanghai on Tuesday. What kind of people are they, you ask. Well, they were thirsty on the subway ride from the airport, so they traded a couple of shots of tequila to quench that thirst. Despite not following my directions, they did manage to find the hotel, where I picked them up and brought them back to Jiaxing on Wednesday.
Wednesday afternoon they experienced our Walmart, our vegetable market, our low lying cloud cover cum pollution, smoky martinis (Grey Goose and Laphroaig Whisky, 5-1) and The Grandma’s Restaurant (from where I was forced to appropriate 2 glasses to better serve martinis instead of white wine glasses. Hey, you do what you have to on both counts.)
On Thursday we had a BIG walking day. After Starbucks we headed to Terry’s school for a tour. The kids were great – happy to talk to other “foreigners”. Then we were off to downtown for lunch and touristy things. BUT WAIT! As we turn a corner on the bus, Terry calls out, “Geoff! – Chairs!” and there is the traveling chair salesman. We have been looking for him as we want to buy a couple of rockers for the balcony. I hop off at the next stop and hoof it back. There is a guy sitting there doing a crossword or reading or something but he was totally disinterested in talking to me. Probably figured I was just a tourist and not a resident! Finally after about 5 minutes of trying to get him to recognize my existence I phoned David and got the process of buying going. After a couple of minutes a young woman who spoke English came along and helped me conclude the deal and arrange delivery for Monday morning. They are beautiful chairs and very comfortable $92 each. I may post photos later, but this was the guy in the fall.
Anyway, I caught up to the rest at a Korean restaurant, where the had been subjected to:
- Stares from the patrons
- Stares from the staff
- The janitor loitering at their booth long enough that Terry was about to tell him to go away
- The cook coming out of the back and standing at their table looking at them.
When I got there we ordered food, joked with the servers and had a great lunch.
Then it was off to wander downtown Jiaxing. One great adventure. Barb needed new reading glasses and we came upon a woman selling them on the street. When we started to bargain, all of a sudden these 5 guys showed up to watch us. We had a misunderstanding over the price. We thought the price was 200 rmb ($35) and she was trying to say the magnification was 2.0 When I said too much, all of a sudden they all understood and said “NO NO” – 28 rmb (4.50), so the deal was done. Other than that we were just showing our guests our usual haunts. We headed back to our place for more Smoky martinis, straight whisky, wine and disappointing vodka infused cherry tomatoes. I had told them the night before to make many holes with toothpicks in the tomatoes. They interpreted that as puncture the skin. Thus, half a bottle of Grey Goose didn’t really make its way in to the tomatoes. Ah well.
For dinner, it was off to Krabi with with John Simpson who is/was in town for Terry’s inspection. It may have been the best meal we have had on China – it was certainly the best in Jiaxing. They really outdid themselves! Barb thought she would move here just for Krabi.
Friday was a big, big day as the inspectors were in to see if Terry’s school was good enough to carry the BC brand, but more on that later.
In closing, I was glad this week to hear that Tiger and Elin got back togther. Best thing for the kids, don’t you think.