Wednesday, January 21, 2004

China Trip: Chinese New Year dinner

This was a quiet, enjoyable, relaxing day, in which we stayed in Pinghu, toured a Chinese mansion, and went out to the “Taiwanese Garden” restaurant for a special Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner. 

Typical Chinese cookstove

Partition between two rooms

Bedroom with ornately carved bed

Chinese paintings on the walls
We toured a large old mansion in Pinghu, which was very fun and interesting, but about halfway through I found myself towards the back of our rather large tour group, so I couldn’t hear what the tour guide was saying and I just contented myself with taking pictures. 

Soon, however, I heard great bursts of laughter coming from the group ahead, so I hastened up to see what was the situation. The tour guide had been showing the honeymoon suite, with a red-curtained, ornately carved wedding bed. At this, Mr. Huang pulled Amy and Shep from the group and had them sit down together on the bed. The cameras were flashing, let me tell you! Amy said later that it was okay, considering that there was absolutely nothing whatsoever between her and Shep, but she didn’t think she would ever live that down.

The gardens outside the mansion we toured

At Pinghu's lake

View from the Taiwanese Garden restaurant

Chinese food

Taiwanese Garden restaurant was a neat experience. That was where they served whole turtles and a dish of squishy opaque stuff in longish strings of about an inch in diameter. Some people thought it was jellyfish and ate it so they could say they had had jellyfish. The next day we found out what it actually was: the “achilles tendon” from pigs’ feet! We ate, but the focus was on the celebration of Chinese New Year. Mr. Wang gave us all a large Chinese knot and a red envelope containing 15 RMB (about $2). That night we also sang karaoke and set off fireworks. It was fun to celebrate a holiday I had never celebrated before.

Next Post: Touring Hangzhou
Previous Post: Touring Suzhou
First Post: Pre-departure excitement

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