This morning we got up bright and early to board the University teachers’ bus that leaves every day to go to Hangzhou,the enormous city one hour away. The bus costs 8 RMB (4 shekels) per person. It drops you right in the downtown area of Hangzhou (population around 6 million) considered to the Chinese to be “Heaven on Earth) because of the beautiful West Lake located there. WE have already been there several times and we always get lost. This morning we were fortunate to meet a Mr Rong,who is a Phd Molecular Biologist from the Weizman Institute in Rehovot,and the first Chinese we have met to actually have been to Israel,and one of the few who has even heard of it.Anyway he now lives in Atlanta Georgia but is doing research here. His wife was visiting here but is leaving tomorrow to return to the US.Mr Rong was most helpful in pointing us in the direction of the Walmart supermarket and shopping mall,and in giving us his mobile number should we need assistance in getting the bus back to campus in the afternoon (which we did). The bus stops next to the Dragon Sports Stadium but since it never seems to deposit us in the same location,we never manage to find where to board it again at 4.30pm when we want to return home. Anyway we had a highly successful shopping expedition and returned home laden with cereal,brown rice,hummus grains and some sweaters and other clothing items which modesty prevents me from mentioning We had lunch in the restaurant in the Walmart centre,a huge place with a self service display of food (good for pointing when you can’t speak) and ate an enormous meal for 15 RMB each (about 7 Shekels)
.After staggering out of Walmart we went to a place called Digital City full of electrical and electronic gadgets and left bewildered by the number of shops. In need of a coffee we tried to go to Starbucks but as it was full and there was no place to sit we went next door to a very weird looking place which served us great coffee and seemed to be selling Birds Nest Soup in boxes as far as we could understand. But who knows? We could not understand a word of the movie that was playing on a loop on the TV screen there which seemed to be explaining how Birds Nest soup is made. Who knows?
On arrival back home at the campus we were wondering what to eat in the evening when we walked past Donghu Cafeteria which was serving pancake like things with egg and vegetable filling for the princely sum of 3 RMB each (1.5 NIS) We got one each.