Steve's China Blog

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some time with friends

The weekend before last Jackie came to Chengdu to visit me. She had taken off some time from work and was on her way to her hometown of YiBin to visit her parents. We spent one day visiting Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi (wide and narrow alleys), which is sort of like JinLi Street with lots of shops, restaurants, and teahouses in an old Chinese style setting.

A room in one of the teahouses

Phyllis and her boyfriend joined us, and we went to a little restaurant nearby for lunch that had DaPanJi. After lunch we stopped by a little art gallery to see some Chinese paintings and calligraphy.

Some calligraphy

Another beautiful painting

After visiting the art gallery we went to visit all the little shops in Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi. It was getting a little hot in the afternoon, so Jackie and I went back to my apartment and had a nap before going out to dinner. For dinner we joined our friend Kitty and had some hotpot. It was very good, and I tried not to eat too much (which I do too often when I eat hotpot).

On Sunday morning Jackie met up with a friend of hers and went shopping, and I was going to meet them for lunch but they ended up shopping through lunch time. After their shopping trip Jackie left for YiBin. I was very happy I got to see her.

Since I am in between projects I took last week off. I didn't travel anywhere, and stayed home most of the time. On Monday night I found out that I got a new project at work, and will be able to stay in Chengdu (yeah!). The rest of the week I spent most of the days at home avoiding the heat outdoors, and going out for dinner in the evenings with friends.

On Saturday evening I took my friend Cindy out for a birthday dinner. We went to Fiesta Thai, and had a lot of really good Thai food. Afterwards we went back to my apartment and watched a movie. My landlady got me a new DVD player and it has a USB port, so I can see the movies that I have on my computer on my TV now, without having to run cables all over the place.

On Sunday I went to Peter's Tex-Mix Grill for lunch with my friends Reese, She Wen, and her friend Clelsea. Reese is going to be on an assignment in Japan for a half a year, and since the others had lived there before I thought they could meet and talk about Japan. It was a really good lunch and everyone had a great time chatting.

After lunch Reese and I went to do a little grocery shopping and then we went back to my apartment and took a little nap. Then we watched some TV, and in the evening we cooked some spaghetti with Italian sausage, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. Reese helped to clean and cut up some of the vegetables, and we ended up having a very nice dinner.

After dinner we watched the movie Soul Surfer. Jackie had watched it when she came over the week before, and Cindy watched it the evening before, so I ended up watching it three times in a week. It is one of those enjoyable movies that is based on a true story that even the kids can watch. I won't tell you much about the movie except that it is about a girl in Hawaii who wants to be a surfer. The surfing scenes and Hawaiian scenery in the movie are wonderful, and the story is very inspirational. Jackie, Cindy, and Reese liked it very much.


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