|Meet Will Smith!|
For one week only, of course. He was grayer than the rest, so we named him Will Smith (clarification: I named him Fresh Prince, but S insisted on the former). Despite the pee and poo, I loved our little friend who lived in the blue kitchen corner.
|lakeside plum blossoms|
|Will Smith is a cage-free chicken!|
But the tippy-toppest part of the day--perhaps of the trip--was a 2000+ step hike (I counted) (all the hiking trails I've been to in China are steep stone stairways). Number of hikers inversely proportionate to altitude. Eventually, it was just S and me, two walls of bamboo, gnatty pools, crisp air. Light green, stone gray. Climbed on and on.
|one foot over the other|
Dinner in a violently velvet banquet hall. Noteworthy nosh: 酒釀湯圓 (sweet rice wine and egg drop soup), durian pastries, logs of sesame rolls. Conversation fueled by vodka; A-GAN was prime tease target (baldness, Lasic eyes, HAR HAR). Ariel demonstrated Hangzhou dialect--I conclude that car sounds like hammer. Nice new friend: distant cousin, 15, scholar of soccer, beautiful penmanship, watched Forrest Gump before. A hand-shake goodbye. And at last, the cherry: a foot massage nearby, er, salon. Boy oh boy, I could not stop giggling: my lower limbs never been so limber-ized. S got a back massage that worsened his condition, hoho jolly jolly. Long (hour-long) story short*, our feet became baby butts. I collapsed like a jelly on the bunk-bed. To top off the day: a toothbrush dance with Samuel! *Foot potions: essential oil, milk, and ginger flowers. Scalding. Drinks: chamomile tea. TV: game shows, pseudoscientific infomercials. Masseuses: ripped.
|West Lake at dusk|
Nighttime! Ariel and I puttered to "InTime" shopping mall's food court for dinner. 'Twas a eater's heaven, with foodstuffs galore! First a stop into Watson's, the lovely turquoise pharmacy; marveled at imitation Baby Lips. Tonkatsu for Ariel, tomato eggs for me. Jealous of neighbor's fish and pickle clay pot. Cold Stone mud pie, which I demolished when Ariel was using the restroom (so, so sorry... Nothing, not even the bond of Tong Xue, survives my stomach's stirrings). At home, S was speaking to a new friend (same age, gap year; his father had passed away) that looked like Po, and entered high school for drawing. Accompanied S to "InTime" again, this time for his dinner. Japanese restaurant had never-ending tea on tap. Smoky arcade: spend 6 coins on Speed Racer. S is deft driver of fake cars.