Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A few days in Suzhou

I went to Suzhou with Katy for a few days. Having been sick and rundown in Shanghai, time in gardens and on canals sounded like a dream. Traveling with Katy was super great. She made most of the itinerary with the thought that if I wanted to join I could otherwise I could do my own thing. Since she planned more out, I just followed a long.

The city is beautiful. There is a reason why the gardens are world renown and UNESCO sites. I ended up having to spend an extra day there as the train I wanted was full, but this meant that got to have more time on the canals and I took a trip on them with Shadow, my local tour guide.

Some Dim Sum, Suzhou style. Congee, La mein, radish cake (anyone who's ever had dim sum with me knows this is one of my favorite dishes) and a local speciality of lotus paste balls in syrup.

Playing with the a chinese boy. wait, that doesn't sound right. I love that the child in me can just play with kids here and the parents don't freak out like they do in my home country.

Katy and me at the Humble Administrators Garden, one of Suzhou's most famous gardens.

tired andy... this was either just before or after i took a nap on a very small table in the sun (table can't be seen in this photo)

Humble Administrators Garden

Lotus at the Humble Administrators Garden

Humble Administrators Garden

Humble Administrators Garden

Garden of the Master of the Nets

This cat had me cracking up. it looks like it had a dress and scarf on but it's actually what you package apples in. hilarious!

Dinner!! Local specialties including a sweet and sour "squirrel fish" and stewed shredded eel. The fish was incredibly tasty and also fun to look at.

After dinner we went outside to walk off dinner and come upon some sort of "Idol" singing competition. We watched for a while and Katy and I just really kept laughing at so many things. The choice of wardrobes and music styles were very different than what we were used to.

A lantern being raised to the heavens. A candle is burnt inside a special type of lantern that is closed on the top. The heat changes the pressures inside and when done right the lantern flies into the sky. I believe I was taught you also make a wish when you do this and the lantern carries the wish out for you.

The canal right outside our hostel

A canal boat ride.

I get ready for the worst, just in case.

Shadow, my local tour guide for the day, and me.

right outside the window

from the front of the boat.

me and the first mate

first mate.

the rest of the tourists. notice shadow in the back, hiding her face.

narrow passage

our fearless captain

oh, hi there. you caught me while I was lounging out here. please, come closer. sit down next to me.

This is me trying to look provocative. is it working? are you turned on?

some people don't like to be photographed.

I really liked how the steps just led you into the canal. You'd see people sitting here washing clothes. I'm sure it made baptisms easy too :)

are words needed?

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