Monday 28 November 2011

6:00 AM – The water for my morning shower is barely warm today.

7:00 AM – I have breakfast in the dining hall with Kenichi and Suishin:

  • congee with pumpkin?
  • large flat bread folded over with green onion inside and some fried something

412I spend the morning packing. I have the suitcase from Carrefour full of souvenirs. My duffle bag as carry on and a small cloth bag with my history of seal carving book and the iPad, both of which I can’t afford to lose so I’ll keep them close by.

12:30 PM – I have lunch with Miki and Katy in the dining hall:

  • rice
  • a kind of pumpkin
  • celery and dofugan and carrot?
  • meatball

After lunch Miki, Katy, and I go back to my room and then I help them carry my “leftovers” to Miki’s room and whatever they don’t want we take to the classroom. Miki and I then make two trips to the post office to send three boxes home ($229.72 total postage): mostly seal stones, books, and art supplies (some wrapped in dirty clothes). When we get to the post office with the boxes we are told that no newspaper is allowed as packing material so we have to unpack and rewrap everything. The woman postal worker is a real pro. Miki puts her name on the boxes as the return address in case anything goes wrong in shipping.

4:00 PM – I call Wang Gongyi to check in and then spend the rest of the afternoon packing my suitcase.

Dongpo Pork

5:00 PM – I walk with Miki to a small nearby restaurant she knows of that specializes in regional dishes since I want to try the famous Dongpo Pork before leaving Hangzhou. While we wait outside for a table I notice that the thermometer says 73 degrees C, which would be over 163 degrees F. I don’t think it was that hot. After a short wait we get a table inside the crowded restaurant and order:

  • Dongpo Pork
  • spinach with sesame oil
  • tofu with tree ear fungus
  • blueberry wild fruit juice (made in Suzhou) with small berries in the bottle. They might be blueberries but they’re so small I can’t be sure.

In the evening I go to the Lavaza Coffe shop for espresso ice ($5.55) and to use the wifi and send a last email to my wife from China.

It smells like wood smoke all day. It’s a warm and sunny day, but not clear. Every day here there’s always been a smoggy haze over the sky. I’m comfortable all day today in just a t-shirt.