June 7, 2009. Visits

Best Friends
Best Friends

Today I accompanied Sea to the railroad station to meet her old friend for lunch. I am not sure where the old friend is from but she arrived on the train from Guangzhou. It turns out I had met her previously, but I am embarrassed to say I still do not know her name.

After the friend arrived we wandered around the station a while, then had a big lunch at Berlin Cafe which is in a hotel on the station grounds. The food was OK, but highly overpriced, in my opinion. And the restaurant could have been cleaner. I had a hamburger and fries for 25 yuan (about $3.70 USD). It was pretty good and the burger came with the works. It was difficult to hold because it had so much stuff on it. The fries were “re-fried” and not so good.

Sea had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries and an order of chicken wings. The friend had a noodle dish that looked like Pad Thai. We also got a plate of fruit pieces in the center of the table. I don’t know if we paid for it or if the restaurant gave it to

us. I don’t remember seeing it on the menu, not that that means anything. We all drank water. I thought about a Tsingtao, but when I saw it was 20 yuan, I went with the free water instead.

The total bill came to 116.00 yuan (about $17.00 USD). Sea paid for everything. Then we went back outside and I took a few pics of the girls. The weather had turned slightly cooler by then. Clouds were blocking the sun. I thought it might even rain, but it didn’t. After that, the friend bought a return ticket and boarded her train for home. Sea and I got on a bus and went back to our neighborhood. By 15:30 were were back at home.

I tried the internet and found everything was still blocked, just as before. I found it strange that the subject never came up in the conversations today. More than strange, I was amazed. But maybe I understand a bit. I have been able to work around the blocks and get most of what I want to do, done. I guess everybody else has too. And the Chinese government has never officially announced they were blocking things.

Some people blame it on software problems, problems at Microsoft, etc.

Still, I am amazed at the lack of concern generated around the world at this outrage. There has been almost no coverage in the press, and locally both Chinese and foreigners seem completely nonplused. Oh well, maybe I am the crazy one.

I went to the oyster restaurant for dinner. I got a table outside. I decided I would point at someone else’s plate and order that way. And that is what I did. I ended up with two grilled sausages on a stick and six Oysters Rockefeller. The oysters were huge and well prepared. The sausage was lightly marinated, spicy, and very tasty. I think I like it more than the oysters. I had a Tsingtao. The bill came to 32 yuan (about $4.75 USD).

After dark I made my way to the park for my 12 laps, then stopped at the night market for peanuts and bananas on my way home. The peanuts were different tonight. They had almost a buttery flavor. Very good. Maybe they were a fresh batch. I’m sure I will never know, the vendor doesn’t speak a work of English.

When he sees me he loads up a 4 yuan bag and hands it to me. This is my standard order.

It is now 23:00. I am debating whether or not to sleep with the air conditioner on since it’s a bit cooler than last night.

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About Charles Kirtley

Have been living in SE Asia and China since 2007. I have an opinion on most every subject, and don't mind sharing them. Lover and collector of worthless facts.
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