I walked just outside the south gate at the new campus to catch the bus and it was very interesting. The 45 bus from the school is easy to take, I just had to get on and ride to the end of the line. The first bus came and was quickly filled so I waited for a second bus, when it came I made it my business to be among the first on so I would get a seat and I got one of the last two seats. My bus quickly filled up with people as we drove down the streets toward the center of the city and I loved having my seat all the more. I texted Chuck when I was waiting for the bus and he was at first amazed that after only an hour and a half I was coming home, he thought that I hadn’t gotten my glasses but I told him that I had my glasses and didn’t have to wait days for them but merely 30 minutes. He was finishing up with the barber so he met my bus when we got back on this side of the city and we went to Dico’s for lunch. As you know lots of stores on our street have been demolished and our local Dico’s was one of these, so eating there was a treat. After lunch we went through the park that was across the street and we enjoyed all that we saw.
As we came in we saw carnival rides then as we walked further we saw a fish pond. Chuck then bought a pouch of food and proceeded to feed the fish. Watching the feeding frenzy was amazing, the fish acted like they hadn’t had food in weeks. Then Chuck gave some of the food to the people around us that was great seeing the children there toss the food in. I liked being part of a good and positive experience that these people had with foreigners. After the fish we saw paddle boats that are worked not by feet but by your hand cranking the paddle. We walked further and found seats and noticed people looking at the foreigners. I’m guessing that the sight of foreigners isn’t unexpected in places like McDonald’s and Dico’s but in the park, not so much. After taking some pictures we walked on to a part of the park where a women’s group was practicing what looked like the ‘cat walk’ walk in modeling. We snapped pictures and I got video to the song that they were walking to was the ‘Macarena’. After they finished they asked us to come and take pictures with them and we did. At first Chuck just thought that it was only me that they wanted but soon enough they had him sitting down for pictures too. A young mother passing by wanted to have a picture of her baby with the American’s and she sat her little girl down on the bench next to Chuck. After several pictures with just the two of them she asked for a group of us to join in and she placed her child on Chuck’s lap. After those pictures we walked some more and found a traditional music group just setting up. We sat down waiting to hear the music and the two women in the group came up and touched my twists (they are quite the conversation starter) and they wanted to know how I got my hair to do the curls so I showed them by untwisting a smaller twist and re-twisting it for them to see. They were amazed and loved how my hair is curly and still very touchable. I then started to take pictures of the musicians as they came up and one of the ladies thought that I wanted her picture so we posed together and Chuck took the picture, then her friend came over and we posed. Turns out that both the women were part of the music group the first woman is the singer and the second woman handles the rhythm sticks. All in total there were 5 members of the group: Singer, percussion, two men playing stringed instruments that looked like banjo’s but only had three strings and were very obviously traditional Chinese instruments and the third man was playing a stringed instrument he held on his lap and played with a bow. After the music we started back to the scooter and back home. Before we left the park we bought some chocolate popcorn and a plum drink. I have a story called Sasa about a family from China and their American family and in one of the scenes they are drinking Plum Drink. This is the first time that I have seen plum drink and it is a very different taste but not a bad taste. I feel better about having my characters drink something that I’ve tried. I like this kind of research…LOL.
The park isn’t far from our house at all, right down Songshan Lu in the block where it goes from Nan to Bei. On our way home we passed the park where we celebrated the Moon Festival and the Zhengzhou Science Museum. We might be going back out this evening for dinner we’ll see what the day brings.
We did go back out for dinner. We went where else to the food court at Dashang and tried the restaurant Tomato there. Dinner was tasty we all ordered noodle dishes that had some type of tomato sauce Chuck ordered something that is a favorite with he and Nate, tomato and eggs. Nate and each ordered wide noodles with what looked like spaghetti sauce but it turned out to be more like a chili taste. Everything was delicious and we will be going back there. I need to take a before picture before I stir the sauce into my noodles. It is custom here to get your noodles and then stir them from bottom to top to spread the sauce on all noodles. The 'beauty picture' is taken of how the dish is presented to you and that is of course before the stirring occurs.