There is nothing that lifts my spirits more than a nice bit of sunshine. Not only has the sun been shining for the past couple of days, but the sky has been blue! We discussed our situation last night over dinner and both agreed that we are having the time of our lives. Not only does the sunshine help, but having our own space has been a big improvement. Hostels can be great places to meet new people, and are definitely affordable, but it can be a bit difficult to establish a daily living routine. Since moving to the hotel, this has been one of the big things we’ve been working on, getting into a routine, and so far things have been going pretty smoothly. We’ve scheduled some private indoor and outdoor time for each of us, as well as a long walk together for lunch.
I have been particularly enjoying our long walks for lunch. We don’t usually have a destination in mind, or if we do, we don’t usually end up there. It is very refreshing to have enough time to simply wander and go wherever we want to. Most days we find ourselves in at least one shopping district; they’re scattered all over this part of the city. I guess we are drawn in by the smells of street food and the bright lights.
We enjoy wandering through, people watching, and window shopping. I really enjoy looking at all of the outfits the kids wear (nearly every one has animal ears or some sort of adorable accessory). Josh gets a kick out of the Chinglish and copyrighted signs.
And what walk is not complete without some amazingly random lunch. We are rarely hungry for lunch, so it is easy to wait for the perfect moment to eat. We find the stall that smells the best, has the biggest crowd, or looks particularly interesting.
A couple of times we have ended up with Chinese fast food. It is cheap at less than $2.50 for both of us, varied, and doesn’t require reading a menu. The stalls have tubs full of bowls filled with various items ranging from ¥2 for small bowls up to ¥5 for large bowls. We just point at whatever looks good.
If we do splurge on the occasional $4 lunch, it is usually for something that really catches our eye (or nose) like hot pot on a stick, Hong Kong Waffles, or stick meats. We have also made a list of some of the unexpected or weird things we’d like to try. For example, the other day we found an independently run pizza shop. Nothing fancy, just a Chinese guy with a pizza oven, but it’s so out of place over here that we feel compelled to try it. Or how about KFC’s new sea bug sandwich! What exactly is a sea bug? We have no idea! But Chinese KFC is putting them on sandwiches and advertising like crazy, so of course we’re going to buy one.
Our daily lunch adventures have become a big part of the day, a nice moment to catch up after spending the morning working. There is so much to see and do here; we are truly seeing (and eating!) the world.