We’ve had American friends visiting recently, and as we took them around the city a bit, I also got to see new sights. I’ve been wanting to explore the many parks this city sports, but I didn’t know where I would park my scooter,* and so I put it off. But with so many people, it was more reasonable to take a taxi, so we did.
It was the first time for all of us to go to this particular park, and they had a handy map up at the entrance.
“A lake? Is the park big enough to hold a lake?”
Apparently it was. And there was boating** as well – manual and mechanized. Lots of people were taking pictures – of us†. Wish I had one of the pictures, but hopefully I’ll receive one from the girls in the next weeks. It was really fun – lots of people performing in the open areas – but thank goodness the weather was slightly chilly. Between physical exertion and carrying the boys, we were a little sweaty.
I’ll definitely be going back to the park. So much we didn’t see that sounded interesting to an adult (because we were there for the kids’ sake, not our own).
Another day we took them for hot-pot. The two times I’ve had hot-pot before, I did not enjoy it. I am happy to say that this experience was vastly different from those times. I think the quality of it was better, but it probably helps that my tastes have changed a lot, even in four years. We ordered half spicy, half not††, and then the food just kept coming. In one meal, I had more meat than I’ve probably eaten since arriving three months ago.
It was delicious. It was super fun. It was a girls’ night, once the only man had left. Bwahaha. You girls out there know what I’m talking about.
Then we had a “real” girls’ night out‡. We went across town to eat dessert (after dinner!)‡‡ and then had a foot-rub. Which can’t really be termed as such except for the fact that they started with our feet (100 minutes would see all the skin rubbed off your feet, and that was the minimum time!) And so after soaking our tired toes in hot water and herbs, we were pretty much massaged into sleep.҂
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we had a quiet morning in, followed by meeting with friends for karaoke. Which was.. interesting. “A” says there is no translation in this culture for ‘corny,’ and I have begun to understand. Corny is normal, here. But I’m still embarrassed for them.҂҂ If you’ve seen a few foreign films from the Eastern part of the world, you probably know what I’m talking about.
For dinner we ran by an Indian place. Probably only my third time to have real Indian food. I have probably been converted. Also, I now understand why Indian take-away is so popular. The leftovers are delicious the morning after, sort of like chile to warm you up when the weather’s cool and rainy.^ Though the rain is only nice while you’re still inside. Sigh. And today’s the MidAutumn Festival, too.^^
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*I now know there are places to park.
**Which of course we did, though the kids didn’t have life jackets, and the oars were tiny.
†The everlasting interest in foreigners.
††Hot pot starts with a boiling pot of soup and spices into which you dip meat and veggies
‡One that had been planned, and spent an hour/hour and a half putting on make-up and fancy clothes before leaving.
‡‡Which was a much more involved process than it had to be, but Friday nights in the city, holiday weekend, traffic grid-locked…
҂Except for me. I’m too ticklish, and parts of my body should not be rubbed unless you want me to accidentally kick you. At least my masseuse found it funny.
҂҂Which really makes me wonder what problem we have, thinking it’s better to be dignified. Being comfortable being yourself and getting into it, rather than looking down on others seems more fun and more likely to inspire better understanding.
^If the weather’s not cool and rainy for you, sorry. And I’m totally guessing as to why Indian take-away is popular. Probably just because it’s delicious. Yes, Sara, you may make me some curry when I return.
^^It’s supposed to be the day when the moon is super-bright.