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Published: October 16th 2009
Jim has had to work 8 days straight after the Chinese Holiday, so we have just done some local things. The last day of his vacation time, we went out with a couple of new friends, Julie and Tina. We went to Guhua Park, which I have written about a couple of times before. Leah wanted to go back and rent a boat. This time, Julie and Tina sat in the front with Leah while Jim and I "relaxed" in the back - actually, we didn relax a lot! It was quite crowded being a holiday, and Leah kept running into things, but it was fun! Then we went to the amusement area and only had time to ride the bumper cars before it closed. Julie and Tina had never done this before and we managed to get Tina to drive one, but Julie just watched.
After the park closed (4:30PM), we went to the Qingfengrenjia Tea house. We had forgotten the business card for the tea house we had been at before, and this was the one the girls knew of. It was quite different! You order your drinks and the food is all free. But, my pot of tea
cost 58RMB (about 7.50USD), so, it was like buying dinner. The supply of food was endless though! They brought 30 small square dishes filled mostly with fruits, nuts and seeds. There were also dishes of duck parts - heads, feet, necks - we pushed those towards Julie & Tina! Then, every so often, they brought some other dish, which was something special from the kitchen, more like baked goods. There were some rice dumplings which Leah and I were able to enjoy.
Julie and Tina both speak very good English and we enjoyed the time spent with them.
Then, after Jim had gone back to work, Leah and I made our first solo trip into town! We caught a taxi, went grocery shopping, and returned to the apt. It may not sound like a big deal, but when you cannot talk to anyone you encounter, its a little nerve wracking! In fact, the first taxi we got into, the driver had NO idea where I wanted to go and we had to get back out and get a different taxi! I have found out that the different colors of taxis are from different areas, so they are not all as
Tina, Jim, Leah, Linda and Julie
familiar with local places because some come from Shanghai.
The day after that, we again went into town, but this time we met a friend named Linda. Most English speaking Chinese people have English names. We were told that many of these people have their English names chosen for them by their English teachers. Jim has known Linda since he first started coming to China years ago and she has been exceptionally nice to Leah and I. She is a waitress at the Sentosa Hotel. Leah needed some shoes, so Linda took us to where there were lots of childrens shoe stores, plus we went to a department store. The small shops are grouped together according to what they carry, so we walked down a stretch of one street and went in about 5 childrens shoe stores before finding what Leah liked and fit. The shoes were just a little big, so Linda to us to a flea market type building nearby where they sold little quilted inserts that made the shoe fit just right! The shoes cost about $8USD and the inserts were 1 RMB or 13 cents in US money!
We caught a taxi and went to Pizza
Julie and Tina
Qingfengrenjia Tea House
Hut for lunch. This was outside of a mall I have not been to, but was told its very expensive. We were surprised to see the hostesses and waitresses dressed up for Halloween! After having to wait about 15 minutes to be seated, and this was a big restaurant, we all had rice dishes which were good.
Then Linda took us to her favorite massage place for foot massages! Now, foot massages in China are way more than just foot massages! We were there for 1 1/2 hrs getting pampered! Its hard to explain everything they do, but you get your neck, back, hands, arms and legs massaged as well as your feet, the feet just get the majority of time. Its amazing the noises and rhythm they can make with their hands against your body! First you get your feet soaked, then the massage. After the massage, they also did something where they had a little wine in a glass jar, lit it, then created a suction against your foot as they drew it along the bottom. I guess its supposed to draw the toxins out? The girl doing mine wanted her picture taken with me afterwards because I
Julie and Tina
Qingfengrenjia Tea House
was her first Western customer :-)
We really enjoyed our "girls day out!"
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