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Of Heat, Tourists, and Gardens: Aug 8

Intentions were good to be up early, but jet lag won out. We started our day at noon. We learned some important things today: Taxi drivers can only understand where you want to go if you have it written down in Chinese Characters…pointing at a map in Chinese that is written with roman letters doesn’t work. Never visit a popular tourist site on a Sunday, in the summer, on a hot/humid day. Japanese cold soba is the best food in world when you are over hot! These pearls of wisdom tucked away for later…we had a great day at the Yu Yuan Gardens.

This garden was created in the 16th century by an important government official to honor his father. Though it is not the biggest or most lavish of gardens it is unique in its survival, virtually unchanged despite all the upheavals Shanghai has seen over the centuries. Kailin took many pictures here to draw in her sketch book, some of them are really amazing.  At one point a lady and her daughter gave her food for the fish and the girls feed them together…both were thrilled. I realize how much I love gardens and gardening….even in the middle of thousands of tourist I find myself quite and in deep appreciation of nature.

We were momentarily sucked into being full tourist and bought the best tea brewing bottles I’ve ever seen. As we were very tired, we took a cab home. One the way back through the tunnel under the HuangPu River the traffic was almost gone compared to our earlier “standstill” journey. Kailin observed: Why do they call it “Rush Hour” traffic? It should be call “Stuck Hour” traffic! She makes me laugh all the time.