Wednesday 16 November 2011

7:00 AM – I have breakfast in the dining hall:

  • long deep-fried sesame ball with nothing inside, orange color
  • congee with veggies
  • pickled green beans

8:30 AM – In class I practice seal script calligraphy and Mo shows me how to fold the paper. I also practice seal carving. I have the impression that I’m getting the accelerated version because talking to some of the other students, they haven’t been shown yet some of the things I’m doing.

12:30 PM – I have lunch in the dining hall:

  • minced pork rolls in tofu skin, steamed? (like¬† a long shumai)
  • sliced winter squash, tasted like butternut or acorn
  • slivers of tofu, carrots?, and spinach?
  • rice

In the afternoon I walk to the stone market to buy five more larger stones for practice ($3.96, or 79 cents each). It seems like each time I go to the stone market I’m able to get the same or better quality stones for less money. Afterwards I explore more of Hangzhou and pass a boy with no arms doing calligraphy by holding the brush with his toes along the sidewalk. I would have liked to take a picture but didn’t feel it was appropriate. Someone later tells me that children are sometimes crippled like this on purpose to make them better beggars. On the way back to college I stop at a street newspaper stand and buy a copy of the Chinese-language version of ELLE magazine as a souvenir for my daughter Katie ($4.75). I’m surprised to see a KFC delivery bicycle pass by on the sidewalk. I’m getting a blister on my toe from all the walking and tell my daughter by email that I may be a few inches shorter when I get home due to wearing my legs down.

I spend the late afternoon and early evening in the classroom practicing.

In the evening I return to Mingtown to have some [gookpo] tea and eat some of the free peanuts and to use their wifi until 11:00 PM ($5.54). The streets are relatively quiet but I notice that the bakery is still open this late so I go in to get some bread for later ($2.06).

There are clouds all day until evening, when it starts to rain. Another rainy night in Hangzhou.