Rob’s Trip to China – Part 3 – Brunch

I woke up really early, about 5 or 6 am, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Don’t know if it was the jet lag, the excitement, or both. I’m typically one to sleep in, as is Rachel, so it was hard just lying there till it was late enough to wake her up.  I put on my new outfit and her parents (who were staying at their other place for the night) came by to take us out for brunch.

This was my first opportunity to see things in the daylight. I went out on the balcony, and had quite a shock of vertigo. A little over 20 floors up, and a very narrow balcony. From there you could see a lot of other apartments, and most had clothes hanging outside. It’s not typical to have a washing machine (though her family does) and no one had a dryer. Clothes are dried hanging on the small balcony. I could see the rooftops of some smaller buildings, and one of them was covered in a garden! A couple of people were tending the plants, and there were rabbits up there too!

We all went downstairs, and there was a small green area in the courtyard. We took some pictures there and went out through the gate. The apartment is in a gated area with security.  The Air outside was nice, not polluted like you have been hearing about in other places. There are some small shops around, and a convenience store right outside the gate.

We got in the car and went to a local restaurant to eat. I was very curious to eat at a “real” chinese restaurant, to see how it’s different from the US. The place was very nice on the inside, and once we were seated, the staff also brought me over a fork and spoon… I somewhat expected this. I’d heard that’s common, as they don’t expect westerners to be able to use chopsticks, and they are trying to be helpful. What was funny about it, is they were the size of serving utensils. I don’t think the spoon would even fit in my mouth.

I obviously couldn’t read the menu, there were some pictures, but sometimes there still wasn’t any clue as to what it was. I left it up to them to order, in restaurants there, the food is brought to the table and passed around, so you can have what you want. I couldn’t tell you now what all I ate, but some of it I liked, and some, not so much. Spring rolls were awesome! Chicken feet… Well…no…never again. There was a pastry that you could dip in this sweet white liquid that was pretty good.

I got full pretty fast, I don’t tend to eat a lot in a sitting, and her parents kept wanting me to eat more. The tea was good, but it’s served very hot. so I would have to wait for it to cool before I could drink it.

As we were leaving, all the waitresses lined up on either side of the door. There was about 10 of them, and they were all looking at me and smiling… When I had passed about halfway, they all said something really loud. I was kinda freaked out, and smiled, put my head down and rushed out of the building.

I wasn’t expecting “Star” treatment, and really didn’t know how to handle it. When we got in the car, Rachel asked me, “Did you hear what they said?”

I replied, “No, it kinda scared me…”

They said “Happy New Year!”

I said, “Oh, I didn’t understand them…”

She said, “They said it in English! They were doing that to welcome you!”

I felt really bad at that point. It was really nice of them to do that, and I ran off. I wanted to go back and apologize and thank them, but it was too late, we had already driven away at that point. I decided I needed to be a lot more aware of what what’s going on. I’m not used to getting attention like that from total strangers, and I didn’t want to possibly hurt anyone’s feelings in the future.

Day1 album on Photobucket

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