Saturday was a busy day for Terry and Geoff. First they spent some quality time with Rich and Nancy and then they had to go to the office where Terry wrote her weekly blog, then it was off to Walmart to buy a pot for heating milk for Terry’s new organic oatmeal and they found the perfect little pot and discovered that on the box it was actually called “Milk Heating Pot” (Ed. note: Honest!), then it was off to Rainbow Department store in a futile search for Revlon lipstick, then off to school for the annual 2 hour Jiaxing Gaoji Music and Dance Festival, via Happy City where we saw just how honest the local residents are. Phew, I’m exhausted just remembering.
Note also the gap between the bottom of the door and the ground. God knows what crawls through the opening.
After the two hour extravaganza, it was home for a rest before dinner.
On the way we passed these two gardeners laying “fresh” sod. Reminds me of planting trees in January of ’73 in Toronto as part of a Winter Works program for he unemployed. We had to use a jack hammer to get through the first foot of frozen earth. The soil here is less than perfect, replete with scraps of paper and cardboard (see red circle) which just gets covered over. It will be interesting to see it in the spring.
We had asked Mr Zhao where we could get a good dinner, Hunan (spicy) style and after consulting someone else he came back with a map and an address which wasn’t too far from us. After a glass of wine at home to fortify us for the oncoming adventure we set off. 10 minutes on the bus brought us to Youyi Street (Ed. note: Friendship Street, home to restaurants of all different types) Now I said that we had a map and an address – but the address was in Chinese. Using our rapidly developing Chinese and astute observation skills, we quickly discovered #428. It didn’t, however really look like a restaurant – more like a shop of some kind. We showed the paper to the fellow there and he indicated, yes we were in the right place and to go upstairs. We were a tad suspect, but what the hell – up we went.
At the top of the stairs we found a room with 4 tables and chairs for 14, and two other small rooms for a total of another 14 people. The ambience was . . . local.
From left to right above: The fellow in the red was the owner – he is getting rice from a big pot to serve us – but others just helped themselves; there is no no-smoking rooms at the local; I don’t know what the waste basket in the middle of the room is for (Ed. note: and likely don’t want to know); and beyond Olly you can just see Grandma out for dinner in her house set. We had a great meal – 6 large beer, a beef dish, 2 pork dishes, an eggplant dish, a greens dish of some kind and a fantastic (yes, I said fantastic) spicy fried cabbage dish all for 172 rmb (less than $30) – I think. When he brought the bill, he gave me an order pad with a total of 172 rmb on it and a piece of paper with 180rmb. I gave him 200 and he gave me 20 back and then launched into a monologue which had everyone else laughing and me confused. Then he took out his wallet and phone and pointed to the table. I took out some money and he just laughed and I took my leave.
As I said, there are a total of 6 tables and 28 chairs (also 2 small stools). This is the kitchen – all of it.
This morning we awoke to a smoggy Sunday. This is the view out of the same window.
The Shoe Blog
This offering isn’t just about shoes, but rather a complete ensemble. This woman was in Starbucks yesterday. So often I have used the phrase “There are no words” but in this case…
(Ed. note: I apologize for the darkness on the left. I tried to lighten it up, but I hope you get the idea. 24 hours later, Terry is still shaking her head. And she’s taking pictures of herself! Yikes!)