(No pictures again. I have no idea what I was thinking that I forgot to take some. Next episode we’ll be back to normal—almost.)
“If you run out of oil for the hot pot, just pour in some wine.”
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Sue returned livid from the morning’s excursion to the Red Cliffs. It had been awful, she told me. The group had started with 26 people and ended up with six. Why did some say it had been a wonderful tour, when Sue thought it was a waste of time? Why didn’t people tell the truth? There had been nothing to see except fake building fronts.
Cold salads: pasta; orange broccoli; apple and celery; dry bean curd with sour sauce; chicken in herb sauce and red beans with vegetables
Romaine; red cabbage (chunks and sliced); cucumber slices; grape tomatoes; sliced black olives; real bacon bits; Parmesan; cubed melon; adorable baby oranges and watermelon slices
Italian, Thousand Island and French
Dumplings; roasted chicken wings; dry-fried string beans; roasted pork with bamboo shoots; roasted potatoes; braised fish with tomato and sesame; stir fried mixed vegetable with a sauce; French Fries; seasonal green vegetables; steamed white rice; creamed vegetable soup; mushroom and chicken soup.
White bread, sliced, rolls and butter
Lemon Jello; tarts; strawberry cheese cake; caramel custard; green tea mousse and chocolate cake
On-board Activities 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The on-board doctor and his assistant gave a Chinese Medicine lecture, primarily about acupuncture. I found the presentation interesting, but I’m sure the purpose was to drum up business. A line of people signed up for a consultation afterwards. I believe a fee figured in there, but I don’t remember clearly.
Afterwards, an hour-long old documentary was shown about the Three Gorges Dam and evacuation of the people.
We dressed up for the Captain’s cocktail party (6:00 – 7:00 p.m.). I wore a long sun-dress and my favorite four-inch heels (hard to put on over bare feet, but no way was I wearing hose). Sue dressed in a skirt and top and her new shoes, but her feet and ankles were still too swollen. She felt self-conscious showing them off and changed into pants.
Up the stairs we toddled in our finery. The crew was lined up in the foyer, on Deck 5. Flutes of cheap champagne were handed out and the crew stood in a receiving line outside the entrance to the bar and restaurant. I was startled that the captain was the shortest male in attendance. He had nice teeth and his smile made me think of a certain Russian leader–a shorter version. Why had this crossed my mind? I can’t make this stuff up (yes, stuff). Honest.
Four females partnered with male crew members started the dancing. Not all danced ballroom well, but the long gowns were interesting as were their efforts. Next they each picked members of the audience and one fellow from our English Group 8 was chosen to which he obligated. I’m glad it wasn’t me.
Brave couples joined the dancers for the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, the Twist, a line dance and a jive. I noticed two young guys (late thirties?) appeared to share the same girl for dancing. I’m always surprised when any male gets up to dance without a gun to his head. I guess the spirit really moved them to shake their booty.
Robert, our first tour guide in China, was on-board with another group to look after. We the English Group 8 had no-one while on the ship, unlike all the other groups.
Cocktails over, the crew lined up across the dance floor, toasts were made and drunk. The captain schmoozed and moved around the room, but it appeared to me his heart wasn’t in it. A camera guy followed him as close as butter on bread. Pictures would be on sale soon after dinner. Monitors with screen shows were available to view and choose photos for purchase. Nothing happens here without a chance of making an extra buck I guess.
Cold salads: Romaine; red cabbage; sliced red cabbage; toothpick-sliced raw carrots; chickpeas; Longan (lychee fruit); cubed melon; sliced watermelon and cubed pineapple.
Quartered tomatoes sprinkled with Parmesan; corn and tuna salad, cauliflower salad with (thin) white cheese slices; squid with local style broccoli with Natto and mixed cow peas with pickles
Roasted shoulder butt (what? That’s what the card said.); mushroom sauce; black pepper sauce; fried pork with peppers; roast Taro; stir fried pork and mushroom; chicken with potatoes; steamed fish fillet with spiced cabbage; grilled eggplant; boiled pork with mixed mushrooms; pizza squares; white rice; white cream potato soup and stewed spare ribs soup with wax gourd
Chocolate brownies; peach pie (cake); strawberry mousse; jelly roll and cake with icing.
I don’t eat dessert. When I asked how they were, the ladies who tried them stated they were tasteless and it was impossible to tell one from the other.
After dinner, I sweet talked our young waiter to top up my wine glass, which I then took back to the cabin. Another lady in our group asked for a filled glass as well, and gave it to me. I kept Sue talking till around 11:00 p.m. because I didn’t want the lights out yet, and wanted to type up some of my notes from the day.
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Next on December 26, On the Yangtze River, Day 14, Part 3 (Excursion to Three Gorges Dam)
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I will be taking time for the holidays starting late Tuesday. I’ll pop in and out when time permits. I have another post coming on Tuesday for Christmas wishes.