Day 10 - Sunday June 8, 2008

Here are a couple of the pics from the night market and food bonanza - where we were last night.

We were showered and down in the lobby at 7:30 am. Breakfast was the usual fare - lots of vegetable dishes, lots of dumplings and an item I’ve allowed myself to have lately: deep fried bread. It’s like a donut but with no sugar - very yummy. I better stop it or I’ll gain weight. The people here seem to eat a lot of wheat - it’s the wheat growing centre of China, so they’d have to import rice if they wanted that. They do serve (white only) rice as well.
After breakfast we were back in the van to go back to the park (this was beside the one we were at yesterday and was named The Millenium City - we hadn’t see it all apparently. Very beautiful buildings and we got to see a number of performances. The boat performance is on video - hmm... I needed fresh batteries the next day.

(The boat performance)

(Chunhong giving her daughter the apricot soup

Mr. Cui seemed to know what he was doing and ushered us to places and got us seated before the rest of the crowd got there. One place we sat down, Chunhong ordered us some apricot soup, sprinkled with a few raisins and candied fruit. It was steaming hot, but cooled us down. How different from the N.A. way to eat unhealthy ice cream when it’s hot - I did it for 50 years, and only gained weight and had to fight for my health.

There were a lot of shops, fish in ponds, etc. see pics.

(a monkey on a ram in the park)

(tourists dress up for photos)

In the afternoon, we drove for a couple of hours to Laoyang - the city where the grottoes are. Another tourist destination with lots and lots of walking and lots and lots of stone staircases. Near the entrance we saw a wall of photos and Pierre Trudeau was in one of them, with Margaret... where is she now?
We walked along the fairly wide river towards the caves, they were on the opposite side of the monastery. Beside the monastery built into the hill, there was quite a long, large stone wall. I began to see that China had a thing for walls.

Looking at the pictures will tell most of the story, but quite a ways up the hill there was a souvenier shop with cold green tea in bottles, so I bought one - boy was that refreshing on a hot and sticky day where we were climbing stairs for what seemed like hours. I saw they had some fans for sale and since I had lost mine at the park in Kaifeng, I wanted another one.
When I picked two up and asked how much, the lady wrote on her keypad: 150 rmb! I was shocked because the fan I bought and lost was about 15 rmb (7rmb = $1). She motioned to me to write what I wanted to pay so I wrote down 15 rmb. I smiled, said thank you and turned to walk out of the shop, fully intending not to buy one - I was not planning to bartar. But a man behind another counter came out and explained with a word or two in English that they were make of silk and much more expensive than other fans. He started to bartar with me. He offered the two fans for 120 rmb. I said no, he walked with me as I was going out, picked up another cheaper fan and wondered if I’d take that for 110. Well ok, I’ll play... so I picked up another silk fan and gave him 100 rmb. He laughed, surprised that I could be so bold, and said ok. I don’t know, I think I could have gotten those fans at the CNE for less, but it turns out they cost me 33 rmb - which is almost 5 dollars a piece.

So we kept walking up and down stone stairs and taking pictures. Michael and I were both pleased and a little surprised that I could climb just as well as the average person.

I have over 1000 pics from this weekend, but I can't put them all up...

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