Another Sunday Bike ride, and other tales.
Trip Start Aug 05, 2011
101Trip End Oct 08, 2012
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Once at this growing hamlet we drove around until Al (our leader) found a decent restaurant and shared the usual 6 or 7 dishes lazy susan style, putting our mouth on the chopsticks then digging into the community food, before reinserting the chopsticks into our filthy mouths. Doesn't bother the Chinese to "double dip", when in Rome......I always say. I loved the spicy eggplant stuff, and ate some of the boiled Carp. The pig stomach was rubbery as usual, and I liked the rice and beer of course. "Nana" and "Lil Al" are from another University, but the other two students seemed to get along with them just fine
I hated to leave this new town, but the sun drops from the sky quickly this time of year, and we had to head back to Xiasha, a more established civilization. The ride home always goes much faster than the ride there, and by the time we were back on the levee, and could see the bridge off in a distance, we got another surprise! The bloody TIDAL BORE!!! The amazing thing shoots by with all it's fury, which was great because I was explaining to my students what the "tidal bore" was earlier. This sure know what it is now! After getting movies of it, we raced it for several miles and even closed in on it, but we ran out of energy after a long time. We did pass Al and his friend who happens to be a girl, but they didn't give chase to the wave. Once back it the QianTang park in Xiasha, the boys told me not to wait for Al, we assumed he was having fun, and we had much farther to go in order to get back to our university (Al's school is right by the river)
Forrest and the other kid have never been to the river here in Xiasha before and both got to see the tidal wave for the first time. This was a most enjoyable ride, and we went a total of 35 kilometers or 22 miles. I have no problems keeping up with the Chinese students on bicycles with the exception of lil' Al who is quite an athlete. The other kids are regular (but intelligent) students, and they had to keep up with me. Once the winter comes I will dearly miss our bicycle riding opportunities, then probably switch over to playing "Majong" as a way to spend excess time with my students.
I never get tired of exploring the countryside. I persistantly did this in Texas, Utah, and now here. There is another new thing, object, or idea, just around the corner. My students generally had no idea where we were or what the town we were in was named. Most just say "HangZhou", although we are far from "Hangzhou" even Google Maps gives me many entries for each place, since many places have muliple names, and the village name changes depending on what part of the village you are at. The term "Village" itself; is a flawed term since all "villages" in this part of China tend to look like city blocks in the middle of the country. No Gilligans Island looking stuff here
Spent Monday, hanging around the apartment (can't spend money this way), but around 2 PM I went for a coffee at the coffee house near the giant park near my school. This place is very nice and relaxing, has wifi, and strong excellent coffee. At $2:50 per cup it's a bit high but the giant cup of high grade expresso (they call it Americano here but it's expresso), will give you quite a jolt. The music is well chosen for a coffee house and it is mainly in English, often songs that I haven't heard since childhood "We have joy we have fun we have seasons in the sun"...ect.
Afterwards I went to dinner with my British friend and we found a decent place to grab a bite and a few Chinese "Manhattan's" which were priced cheaper then my coffee
Being young is easy. Just treat every day like a new adventure. Learn new things. Do something that scares you. Laugh at your mistakes. Treat others with respect. Enjoy the mundane and make the most out of it. I just wrote all this positive crap off the top of my head so these concepts have probably been written before. Just avoid the rut of taking yourself too seriously and grubbing for money rather than happiness, or competing against others for credit or recognition, that you may or may not deserve. Cease to care what others think of you, as long as you keep a good conscience, don't screw people over, don't expect anything or have conditions for others to meet, forgive everyone you can, you can and should enjoy yourself. Nothing can keep a good man/woman down. Wow! all this minutiae kind of flowed right out of me. I stand behind it all one hundred percent.