Ice Cream Expo
3/27/2005, China trip day 4: Hangzhou, meeting people, English corner at Westlake Park
David had a meeting with a guy from the Hangzhou government. His job is to encourage foreign investors to do business in Hangzhou and help them wherever possible. We also met David's friend Ryan and a Chinese girl who calls herself "Annie". We met up at a place called "English Corner" in Hangzhou's famous Westlake Park. I thought maybe it had a historical connection to England. Wrongo! When we arrived, first someone wanted to take their picture with us, for no particular reason. No conversation. Just a picture. Then, droves of Chinese people surrounded us wanting to ask us questions. Where are you from? Do you like China? What do you eat? It was overwhelming. Maybe 20 people standing around me. They were competing for my attention. It wasn't until later that they told me this was a designated place for meeting foreigners to practice English. It was nuts.
The government guy took us out for tea at a really fancy place. One cup cost about 3 times as much as a modest dinner in a tourist area, about $6. Shocking. Very pricey stuff. I had the money and tried to pay, but the guy insisted on paying for us. It was a nice place. Nice atmosphere and stuff. Maybe 50 kinds of tea on the menu.
|A scene from near English corner in Westlake Park.|
|A weeping willow tree in Westlake Park.|
|We had lunch with Ryan and Annie later on. Beef and noodles. About $1.|
We didn't spend much time really exploring Westlake park until day 10 of the trip. There are some really pretty pictures there.
|Speaking of pretty pictures, I found this bicycle in downtown Hangzhou. People carry lots of huge and odd things on bicycles. This was hardly the largest I saw, but it was one of the stranger things. Two huge, full barrels of slop. I guess pigs eat this stuff. Who knows where it came from. Street cleaning refuse maybe?|
|An appetizing close-up of the contents of the barrels.|
|It's hard for me to imagine getting on this thing and riding down the street.|
|A good friend of mine works for Inax, so I took this picture to show INAX's advertising abroad. INAX makes bathroom tiles, fancy electronic toilets, normal toilets, and modular bathroom sets for apartments.|
|Back of the bus as it drives away.|
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