The Friends World students here in Hangzhou are all abuzz about The Scavenger Hunt. Everyone is busy tallying up their points, hoping to reach over 8,000, by performing such tasks as teaching a Chinese person to sing a song in English, visiting various scenic sites, eating some of the local delicacies (and by delicacies I am being quite euphemistic), etc.
Yesterday, we attempted to do the Five Pagoda tour. Numerous taxi rides later, we were only successful in visiting four before dark (it gets dark early here). And the fifth one, at the North Peak, would have been purely for the experience, not for the view. It's been hazy, the whole time I've been here. And today it's raining. So probably by the time I leave, the weather will clear and the views will be spectacular. Just my luck. But Hangzhou is such a pretty city. The West Lake is gorgeous, just like all those classic hazy paintings you've seen of China.
Photos will have to wait until I return to the US. Online time is at a premium here. Downloading and editing photos (so far, almost 500 taken) would take far too much time.
I've seen several yarn shops along the way, just haven't seen any yarn I can't live without and am willing to carry with me along the way. As my Mandarin is nil, I can't communicate well with local merchants and can't read the labels, so I'm unsure of fiber content as well. The yarn is really inexpensive, though. So maybe in Shanghai, if I can find a shop, I'll take the plunge on something with a picture of a sheep on it.
We leave this afternoon for Shanghai. A two-hour train ride away from Hangzhou. Next post, with photos, will be from home sweet home.
Darlings, I have one word for you: overwhelming. I spent a week touring Beijing and then flew to Hangzhou, which is where my daughter is living. Never have I felt more like an alien. Every time I look up, someone is staring at me. I can't read any of the signs. I can't understand anything people are saying. Even when I'm with my daughter's school group I'm in a different universe. Wow.
And knitting? Well, there have been plenty of opportunities for knitting in public. And I found (actually one of my daughter's friends found it) a yarn shop in one of the small Beijing markets. I bought a ball of cashmere-merino blend for about $1.50. I was hoping for a US 5 circular needle as well, but 3.75mm is right between two needle sizes here, so I was out of luck. I'm keeping my eyes open for another shop. You never know what you might find.
I'm in an internet cafe, so no photos today and not much energy for writing either. We are off in a moment to get massages, facials, and pedicures. I need a little pampering after all that hard-core touristing.