laowai highs, laowai lows #2
Welcome back to Monday!
It’s time for the 2nd installment of laowai highs, laowai lows, a new weekly-or-so feature here on juliekesti.com. It’s a chance for me to look back at the last week and highlight a few high and low points of being the bumbling foreigner. This particular Monday it’s hard to recall too many lows, as we just returned from a rejuvenating weekend in Moganshan National Park, which I’ll tell you more about later this week. It’s a magical place.
P.S. I can’t decide–should I list the lows first or the highs first? Any opinions?
> Moganshan!!! in general–the air, the trees, the bamboo, the quiet, the air, the deep slumber, the hiking. . .
> sweet puppies napping at the tea and noodle place we stopped at on the top of a ridge. They weren’t actually open–”we looked around and it didn’t seem very busy”– but they did sell us a couple cold drinks and let us enjoy the view
> enjoying wild arugula with mashed garlic on an outdoor veranda, under the visible moon, above misty hills, with drunken groups of Chinese travelers entertaining us from a safe distance
> we were unable to convince ourselves to enjoy the dish of bamboo shoots served on the same patio, local specialty though it was. . . perhaps all that hiking down-down-down up-up-up (oh! my calves!) through the bamboo forest made the extra tough-to-chew stalks seem unappealing to eat. Supposedly the parts of the bamboo served changes each season so maybe it will be different next time
> the horror I felt after considering the little lady whose job it is to continually sweep out the bathrooms after the continuous rush of people at the Hangzhou train station. The stench began a good 20 feet or more from the bathroom–I can’t imagine her cloth face mask does very much to protect her :(
> realizing we booked our ticket to the wrong train station in Hangzhou on Friday (we think) (?) and arrived there after the bus we thought we could take stopped running, and it was dark and raining. . . luckily 3 Chinese business people nearby were headed the same direction, and let us share their taxi–Sean in front and four of us squished in back, ranging, I would learn, in age from 33 to 36.
P.P.S. Did you see my latest newsletter?