The train was packed from Hangzhou to Suzhou. When we got off it was raining. Our guide picked us up and took us to eat. I went to buy a map at the restaurant/hotel and the guy behind the counter was pushing condoms and sex toys. I knew that Suzhou was a romantic city but come on. We had a delicious lunch, the local dish was fried chicken but the tofu and pork were amazing to, just ask Dean.
Our guide was very nervous because Dean had been a tour guide in China many years ago and she didn't want to disappoint us. So she just talked, talked and talked. She just wouldn't shut up, it was as if she just finished her third red bull. And when you did try to tell her something she would say "I know, I know" and then back to talking, asking us if we needed to go to the happy place. "Do you need to go to the happy place"? I finally figured out that the happy place was the toilet. THEN she kept referring to the camera and replacing the batteries as feeding the baby. "Do you need to feed the baby"? "Is the baby hungry"? "Did you feed the baby today"? After the 5th time of her asking questions about if we knew who sat here and why didn't they sit over there Or what was this room used for or why didn't she sit over there on that chair?... I finally said I DON'T KNOW, JUST TELL ME.
No more questions. I'm not guessing anymore. I'll ask you a question if I want to know more.
What I figured out was I needed a little break from EVERYBODY!!! This had nothing to do with Linda, she was doing a good job and on any other day I probably would have been fine. But this day was a bit challenging for me, I had hit the wall with people talking at me. We drove into the city and walked around the Humble Garden, hoping for a peaceful day in the park with 10,000 other chinese tourist. Here is a picture of me forcing a smile, thinking the entire time that I just wanted to check into the hotel room and sleep. Don't worry it does get better....
nice smile right?
After getting some sleep and having one of the best Hot Pot dinners, I had recovered. The next day I had more patience and Linda was much calmer. All was good in the world again.
Did I mention that last night we drove through rush our traffic in the rain to see apartment buildings on the outskirts of the city so we could cross it off our list of places to live. Dean had found a Howard Johnson hotel that had service apartments in them. Needless to say they were out in bum F&^* egypt. That is a personal story I'll share when I see you. Not one to share here.
Did I mention the Lingering park was beautiful. So was the Hanshan Temple. :-)
Suzhou is the Venice of China. You can take a gondola ride through the city.
We went up the Grand Canal to a small shopping market, with stalls where you could buy anything. One stall after the other, selling everything from souvenirs, rice, live ducks, live fish and the stall next to it selling sweet deserts or a pig. I was going to take a picture but Dean thought it was to gross, and if Dean thinks it's gross it's disgusting.
Okay back to the gardens with John and Dean.
We had dinner around the corner from the hotel, a local place. We sat next to a table of 10 girls celebrating two of their birthdays. They were having so much fun. Dean sent them a bottle of beer and that's all it took, we had new friends for life. They toasted us and we toasted them. Another beer another toast. The next thing you know Dean and I were on our feet singing happy birthday. Once all the hugging stopped, some longer than others, we left. Fun Night