We arrived in Delhi at 3:30AM last night, and promptly passed out on arrival at our guest house. Our hostess Meera told us that breakfast was “whenever we woke up”. We made our way downstairs this morning around 10AM and laid out on the table was mango juice, apple slices, and honey.
When we told her how appropriate apples and honey were for a “Days of Awe” breakfast, she was delighted. It proved that we were meant to stay here :)
We’re halfway to Delhi from Shanghai and just finished dinner service. They served a spinach curry with rotis, chutney, and dal. It was possibly they best airline food I’ve ever had (Cathay Pacific is the only other contender), and tastier than most Indian restaurants in Seattle. The businessman sitting next to Lauren said that even though they are often delayed, he always flies Air India because it’s the best meal he’ll get on his way to Delhi.
If the Indians can do this much with an Airbus kitchen, I can only imagine what awaits on the ground over the next few months! :)
Our way to the airport involved my fastest ever land-travel experience. We took the Maglev “demonstration line” that covers 30km nonstop in about 6 minutes:
Our original rough plans are still intact; we’re heading to Delhi for Yom Kippur and a few days of sightseeing. Then we’re off to Nepal for two weeks of R&R.
Seen on a storefront in Suzhou, China:
Let me know if you can explain this one. As far as I can tell, it has something to do with counterfeit pearls.
I know Seema would be so proud:
Lauren, in the Humble Administrator’s Garden, explaining why bridges in Chinese gardens are zig-zag shaped
For our last day in China, we took a day trip to Suzhou, famous for its numerous gardens and its historical status as a center of the Chinese silk industry. Kenny’s co-worker Yun kindly agreed to come along and serve as translator, in exchange for us serving as tour guides (armed with our TimeOut Shanghai guide).
We visited the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Suzhou Museum (designed by I. M. Pei), with a stop for lunch at a delicious Hunan restaurant in between. Suzhou is small and quite touristy, but it made a nice peaceful day trip away from bustling Shanghai.
Translator and tour guide posing for a shot in the Humble Administrator’s Garden
I. M. Pei’s beautiful museum is a modern building, but it pays homage to the simple lines and structures of the Chinese gardens that surround it.
As some of you already know, Kenny and I have a travel companion who lives in our camera bag – Little Vid, a stand-in for our dear friend Vidya (who unfortunately chose not to take a year off from her job to join us on sabbatical). Here are a couple of photos we took of Little Vid in Shanghai. There will be many more to come as we continue our journey.
You can follow all of her adventures on our Flickr page via the Little Vid tag.
The real Vid loves karaoke. Here’s Little Vid enjoying a duet with Kenny in Shanghai.
The real Vid doesn’t like beer, but Little Vid enjoys an Asian lager from time to time.
For my last night in Shanghai, a bunch of my co-workers took us to Party World for karaoke. Karaoke in China is a much different experience than the states. You rent a karaoke room, which has couches and your own personal KTV with Chinese and English songs to choose from. Finding your room is an experience in and of itself, as there are many different sections spiraling out from a central hub that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet as well as specialty food and drink stations.
It was a blast. The MS-Shanghai crew have amazing voices, and everyone got into the action.
I’m looking forward to another KTV night the next time I’m in Shanghai!
Seen on East Nanjing Road, Shanghai:
We theorized that a cash recycling machine is likely an ATM that accepts deposits.
Also on East Nanjing Road, we saw a “Reverse Vending Machine”: a machine that accepts empty cans and bottles, and dispenses cash. If you think about it, this translation actually makes perfect sense. Unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of this one.
When cousin David visited us in December, he gave us a few travel-themed gifts, including the LP Signspotting books. This gift came along with a special assignment: to take photos of any amusing signage we see around the world where something was clearly lost in translation. I will post these photos to the blog with the tag “signspotting”.