Terry is not feeling very well today and I have assumed the role of a warm body in the principal’s chair for the day. I have been frustrated already by the inability to do some of the things I wanted to do today, so I thought I would write a blog about our week so far in Jiaxing with Lynne and Martin. Then they can do the (Ed. notes) (Ed. note: who could possibly improve on the original editor?)
I feel badly for Terry and Lynne – they are having a very tough time getting a good night’s sleep this week. Terry because there is lots of stuff which requires her attention at school and Lynne because her body has not yet acclimatized itself to the time difference. It’s a good thing, therefore, that they didn’t see this woman at the train station on Sunday afternoon, sound asleep.
Monday I took Lynne and Martin to the office for their first Jiaxing Experience. Terry has written before about the Chinese attitudes about things like birth, grandparents caring for children, the single child policy and the somewhat suspect attitudes toward breast feeding. Imagine our amazement, then to look over to this chair against the window in Starbucks and see the mother, quite unabashedly feeding her child – first from the left breast and then from the right (yes, I know Lynne balance…). No covering towel, no dropping the blind – just here it is kid, go for it and let the world observe.
On Tuesday evening the four of us, along with Tim, went to Krabi. We let Tim come since he brought a home baked apple pie over to us. It was excellent and a tribute to the baking abilities of a good ol’ South Carolina boy. Thanks Tim.
Here they are preparing to chow down on another fabulous meal at Krabi.
Tim noticed the following signs over the urinals in the men’s room. (Ed note: we have taken dozens of photos of such signs – this is by far the best; we’re thinking of starting a Chinese proof reading business.)
On Wednesday the three of us took a long (15 kms) walk around the Jiaxing Greenway, stopping at the Doubletree by Hilton for a noodle lunch, then through western Jiaxing before returning home to get ready for our evening in Xitang.
We spied a fisherman on one of the canals with two long bamboo rods, one with a net at the end and one with a guiding fork of some kind. Each time he put the rods in the water, we could hear a “ZZZZZZZZ” sound. We finally noticed that on his back was a large pack with wires coming out of it and running down the length of the rod. He was running an electrical charge into the water which was zapping these 4″ fish and making it easier to “catch” them. Very sporting, don’t you think, but then, I guess it is better than using grenades or dynamite…
In the evening we went to Xitang, the old water town which is part of Jiashan, the next city over. It is a very cool place with lots and lots of reasonably priced touristy type shops and loads of restaurants.
Here they are again (sans Tim) and the view from our restaurant. (Ed. note: they keep bringing us to restaurants with no cold beer; this cannot go on much longer. We did, however, enjoy the insects on a stick – looking’ at ’em that is).
From there we wandered down the bar street. It is a stretch or two and a half blocks of nothing but bars. They all have music – LOUD music. How loud? Well we did not even stop in at the “quiet” jazz bar for a drink, opting to come home an hour early instead. (Ed. note; after this, we were driven home by a very nice school driver and were in bed by ten – see 15km walk above)
The Shoe Blog
On our walk on Tuesday we spied a young girl, likely 14 or 15 and her mother. The girl was shuffling VERY slowly along in these, not daring to lift her feet up (Ed. note – I believe the word is “teetering”). I would imagine the conversation went something like this:
Girl: Oh Mom, they are beautiful, please will you buy them for me?
Mom: No way honey, they are just not practical for you at your age, and they are too big.
Girl: Oh Pleeeaaassseee Mom.
Mom: Alright, but I don’t think it is a good idea.
Maybe 15 minutes later…
Girl: Oh Pleeeaaassseee Mom can I take them off – they are KILLING me.
Mom: No way honey – I bought them, you wear them. Suffer, baby, suffer!