Posted April 24th, 2012 by Talbot in Hangzhou, China
Been a while, eh? The weather here is becoming progressively hotter, but right now it’s still pretty pleasant. For our trip yesterday, we ended up having lovely weather later in the day. We departed the school at 7:00, which is an hour that should not exist, and drove two hours to an ancient canal town (similar to Venice, but Chinese) called Shaoxing. After the semi-restful drive, we got out of the van and were immediately met with the smell of stinky tofu, which literally coated the town, it seemed. I can’t describe the smell of this particular type of tofu, but it’s not pleasant. In fact, it’s very unpleasant. The town was a very standard Chinese town, and, to be honest, was nothing special. A very famous author once lived there, so there’s that.
After a nice lunch at a very fancy-esque (China-fancy, it should be known) restaurant, called The Grandma’s (Chinese people have trouble with articles, which I often find hilarious), we left for East Lake, which is not a cousin of West Lake, even if their names are similar. East Lake is partially man-made, partially natural, but is really quite beautiful. We had a pleasant boat ride, did some archery, watched some failed attempts at rock climbing, and then experienced the best activity of all. Basically, human hamster balls. They put you in a ball, fill it with what I assume is air, attach a heavily-frayed cord (it’s China) to your ball, and then shove you down the ramp into the water. From there, you basically just fall. You stand up, you fall. You somersault, you fall. You attempt running, you fall. This, ad infinitum. There are videos on the site I will provide at the bottom, so, you should probably watch them.
After East Lake, we traveled to Lanting, which is famous for its calligraphy. Obviously, everything there was calligraphy-oriented. Calligraphy’s pretty cool. There was also a nice goose pond.
Anyway, it was a really long day, but the hamster balls made everything worth it. There are some fun videos I just posted on this site, so here: