Markets, Spring Festival Flower Market, and dinner at the Pigeon Restaurant.
Feb 14, 2018
|Today, after a good night's sleep, and a gentle start to the day, we set off to explore the Renmin Zhonglu markets. I particularly want to get some slipper soles and yarn, to start Carol re-learning how to crochet. So we got a #4 bus from near Melrose's house.
We decided to get off the bus one stop early, and called in to Frankle's Granddad's shop clock to say hello to his Mum. She was very happy to see us,and we managed to have a very brief conversation. Using pidgin Chinese, and a lot of sign language and gestures.
We wandered down the street to the markets, but were disappointed to discover that my wool shop man is not working, and so that no doubt means he will be gone until after the New Year. We did have a wander around the market area, to let Carol see where the locals do most of their shopping.
Then, after messaging Denise for directions, we got on a #10 bus, to head to the Spring Festival Flower Market, which is no longer at the Sport Stadium, but out in the east of the city at the entrance to Zhaoqing Middle School. Somehow, we missed the stop, so just stayed on the bus to the end of the run, at the gate of Zhaoqing University.
After a short wander around, we got the next bus heading back, and got the right stop this time, having got my bearings.
It was insanely crowded, just getting there. Cars parked everywhere. The market is just over the road from the entrance to Gary and Denise's house, so now I can understand why they see it as a pretty big inconvenience to them. Cars and people all over, and even police on the road by the flower market, controlling the flow of traffic and pedestrians.
This is the second last day of the market before the new year, so of course it is crazy busy by now. I would have like to have seen it at night too, all lit up, but once was enough this time.
But, crowds apart, the flower market lived up to it's usual stunning standard, with a massive array of potted plants, cut flowers, and many other items either suitable for gifts for the new year, or to beautify homes and offices to bring in good luck for the coming Year of the Dog.
We had a good look around, and decided that we had probably seen as much as we needed to see, before pushing our way through to get back out.
In the meantime Denise had messaged me to invite us to come up to her house if we wanted, and to wait until we got for dinner with them.
We got over the road, and down to the entrance to their apartment complex. I was a little surprised that I could find it again, after only having been there once before.
We met Shelly, Denise's Mum, who is visiting from Adelaide, and Shelly's younger sister Xiao ping, who does not speak very much English, but is into photography so we had a common interest to share. And Denise's Granma was there too. I have met her once before.
Shelly jumped up to make tea for us, and I think she was amused when I pulled out a coffee sachet for myself. But that is what I needed, and I happened to have one in my bag.
I had had a message from Cheer, inviting us to dinner at his house, but sadly I had to say that we were already going out with Denise and Gary and family. When we arrived at Denise and Gary's house, Gary was sleeping, but when he woke I asked him if he would mind my inviting Cheer and his family to join us. And I insisted that we would contribute to the bill, if I bring along other people. He was actually OK with that, so it was great to be able to see both families at the same time.
Little Auntie and Grandma went off, in Auntie's car, and we went in Gary's car to the pigeon restaurant. Like the first time, it was a delicious meal, made all the better by great company!! I sat next to Shelly, and she was busy telling me all about her life in Adelaide. She is married to an Australian man, and is very happy there.
But she was laughing about the fact that when she first started going to Tafe to learn English, she could not understand anything the teacher or other students were saying. By now, after eight years, she speaks very well.
After dinner, we all went for a wander along the lakefront, and it was nice to see the two little girls interacting. There is a couple of years age difference between them, but they seemed to connect quite well, with a lot of girlish squealing and laughter from them.
I had thought that we would get a taxi home, but Cheer and Xiao Hong in their wisdom decided that it was not too far to walk home, so off we went. My feet were screaming in silent protest, but we got there, and it was even more appreciated when I finally got off my feet!!
It had turned into a long day, but it had been very nice.