4/2/14 Last night, we went to an extended family banquet in a an especially smoky banquet hall.
|inside a banquet box|
First, a stop to a glossy McDonald's. Soft serve in hand, we strutted (with celerity) down the bookended road, stopping to smell tasty wares (BBQ duck tongues). Samuel bought a jacket with a checkered lining; Ariel and I bought accessories. Our guide haggled with expertise, and was generous with her gifts of companionship and pocket change. Afterward, she drove us around the posh New Town 五四 area of Qingdao, past Chiang Jieshi's old hideaway, down a tree-lined street. We sang along to T-swizzle, hen hao wan.
Ate at another classy banquet place (same walking menus) (great bao zi with shrimp and chives and eggs and crispy frills on the bottom). On the way there, had piping hot, pure white, a-dollar-a-bag 饅頭 (steamed bread), which we ripped apart with burning, eager fingers. Dinner "info session" for friend, a girl called May. Held at unbelievably luxuriant hotel buffet that boasted every edible that the mind can conceive (Anselm!). Between sips of Oolong tea, black walnut potion, and coconut milk, we younguns offered insight into American education as pertaining to immigrant/exchange students. We spoke thoughtfully and truthfully, I hope. Sam ever truthful.
|happy in the countryside :)|
4/3/14 Thursday. I played piano in the morning--tried to finish Fugue. Samuel came to visit (that welcome doorbell!) and off we went to find him a proper brunch. 'Twas cold, so we buttoned to the brim. Bought an XL 韭菜盒子 and settled down in kitchen to reat for a moment (2 visitors!) before the kind auntie from the night before whisked Ariel and me to Koreatown, 40 mins to the north, still in Qingdao!
First stopped for a snacklet of duck tongues, squid, and fu zhu (much love for fu zhu) and then settled into smoky Korean shop. We had our own tatami-esque room! Every two minutes, the waiter
|quintessential night market|
Returned home, read Atlantic in nook because Samuel was out finishing his interview of great uncle. Nai nai walked in and gave me a turquoise bracelet. More piano, the last one :(. Gave Easter eggs to the kind neighbor and wished her a happy 復活節, danced with Samuel, and had last supper in Qingdao. Much dumpling (fish, hurrah! lovingly assembled by Samuel's two aunts), beer, and picture-taking. Happy cheers and blessings all around, including one from S to grandmother (謝謝妳的愛) and rhyming ones from Ariel. Portraits extracted, as were last words. Harried packing.
|goodbye, beautiful Qingdao|