I set off today on my own to find the “museum” celebrating the life of Qui Jin – and caught the bus to stop on Jiefung Lu almost opposite the Wal-Mart. I don’t recall it being called that when I was last year. Surrounding the Wal-Mart and other shops in the area is a huge new shopping centre in the midst of construction. It seems all the BIG names of fashion will be there. Not sure what it means for Wal-Mart – I wonder if the old buildings will be demolished.
I found the sign that indicated that 1.1 kms ahead was the Qui Jin museum, so I kept walking in that direction. I had been on this road years ago and was familiar with parts of it, though clearly there were changes. The Dio Coffee house was no more – just closed. Perhaps it has moved somewhere else.
Further along the construction site – the same building that faced Jiefung Lu, so it will be a massive shopping complex when it is completed. Probably tomorrow the rate they build ……..
I venture forward, looking everywhere for another sign. I found a park – I had seen the park from the river. I recall doing a dusk cruise on the river with other FT (foreign teachers). The garden was beautiful, with amazing stone features and a story about a man in the past who helped in the reduction of flooding in the area.
On the other side of the river is the Shaoxing University – and connecting the two sides is a remarkable bridge, which I remember had beautiful lighting at night.
Back on to the road again, and a sign indicated that the museum was to the right, so I crossed, dodging the crazy traffic safely and set off. I am not sure if I found it. There were several buildings that could have been the museum, but I could find no English, so I walked on. Perhaps I need an interpreter to come with me.
I kept walking, taking the occasional photo, and found my way to Jiefung Lu again. I turned left and set off for Fizz Pizza, a café on the corner that once upon a time featured amazing displays, but now looks like it is about to become a construction zone. The paving is quite broken and dangerous, but Fizz Pizza seems not to have changed in the last 4 years.
I entered, and was given a seat near the window. The waitress was quite sweet, but didn’t speak English. Or if she did, she didn’t want to. She gave me the menu, and came back when I indicated I was ready to order. I had perused the quite substantial menu – there was quite a selection of pizza and other food. When I saw the two snake dishes I quickly turned the page – me? Snakes? No way!
But when I looked at the illustration I learned that it was not “snake” but “snack”! I remembered that when I was teaching here that often students confused those two words, which caused at the time a certain amount of mirth.
And so it was that I had the “6 snake meal” I think it was. Six snacks. Chicken nuggets, calamari rings, potato crisps, prawns, a small half of tomato and a tiny piece of lettuce!!! Six snacks indeed!! I ordered that and a Mayberry drink – the latter was most refreshing.
I was somewhat bemused to see that at the table adjacent to me sat a couple – he on one side of the table and she on the other with a miniature poodle seated beside her. Quite a well behaved dog, and dressed so well for the occasion! Wearing an outfit that my photo does not do justice to.