Monday, May 26

EATING SNAKES

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.




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