How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Beijing Part 7: Ming Tombs

word-cloud-7

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

After the Great Wall, a mid-day meal awaited in a local restaurant.

Lunch:

  • Spring rolls (exactly 8)
  • Fish balls with red and green peppers
  • Fried chicken
  • Eggplant with tomato and green peppers
  • Rice
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Soup
  • Cut up orange wedges for dessert
  • Tea
  • The usual one small (free) glass of beer, pop or water
The Spirit Way, original road and entrance to the tombs. There are 13 tombs of which only one has been excavated (Ding Ling)

The Spirit Way: original road and entrance to the tombs. There are 13 tombs of which one only has been excavated (Ding Ling) 

Ming Tombs: where 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty are buried (1368-1644).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfynyPLm4Q0    (3.04 min)

If you would like a more in-depth version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1BqspVU2HA  (8:43 min)

Emperor Yongle with money offerings at his feet. This money is collected and used to maintain the building

Emperor Yongle with money offerings at his feet. This money is collected and used to maintain the building and no, no Chinese person would dare steal this money.  

Laundry: 

  • Hung on rope strung the length of apartment balconies
  • Clothes  hung on hangers: socks, T-shirts, sweaters, trousers, shirts, blouses
  • Did not notice any underwear or bedding

 On the way to dinner:

Robert and the driver appeared to converse more than usual. Robert’s cell rang. He talked at length. The call completed, he started another. Both he and the driver seemed tied to their phones for an unusual amount of time. Of course, I didn’t understand a word, yet it occurred to me something might be up. I can pull a rabbit out of any hat, real or imaginary.

Our bus pulled over to the curb and Robert announced he had to leave. The driver would take us to the restaurant, he said. He gave no explanation, but it wasn’t hard to see he was upset. Sue and I looked at each other. We couldn’t see any of the other’s reactions in front or behind us.

IMG_0241

Heavy traffic surrounded us. After Robert hopped off, we drove on for a short distance still in the inside lane. Vehicles crawled bumper to bumper. Another bus slowed next to ours. Sue and I sat on the left of the aisle watching through the window. I squeezed my eyes shut as a bicyclist, with no room to spare, whizzed by between our two buses. I almost had a heart attack.

The other bus moved on. We remained stock-still in the curb lane. Traffic rolled past. I thought the young fellow on the bike might have caused an accident. Traffic shifted moving past, yet our bus waited immobile. Why? By now, the whole group craned necks and raised eyebrows around the seats at each other. We noticed together, a car parked in front of the bus. Another five minutes or so dragged past. What could be happening? A man in a construction vest walked up to the car’s driver window brandishing his arms. I had no idea the car had an occupant. No translation was required. Move now he indicated. Nothing changed. A 20-something Chinese guy in black pants and a white shirt appeared at the side of the bus. The door flew open and he jumped in. The door slammed shut and I don’t recall any words exchanged with the driver. The parked car inched forward. Our bus did as well.

IMG_0243

In minutes, we turned into a driveway and a man, who might have been Security or Police, stepped in front of the bus. He waved his arms and shouted through the windshield and looked as if he wanted to push the bus back. What was going on? Words passed between the man outside and our driver or between the driver and the new passenger who hadn’t taken a seat. Too much going on to follow. The uniform vanished. The bus door opened again and the young man jumped out signaling for us to follow. I felt like a lamb on the way to heaven’s gate or maybe hell’s? All were silent, heads bowed as we passed through an alley and a maze of cars and another lot into a restaurant. I flashed my Travel Tour ID towards an approaching waitress. She led us to Table 6 which displayed our tour group name.

One of our group noticed the young man worked as a waiter there. The picture became clear. This had been an orchestrated event. Before Robert rushed off, either he or the driver had pre-arranged for our escort. The driver had stalled until the black pants and white shirt found us. The driver couldn’t leave the bus to walk us to our destination since there wasn’t room to bring the bus closer. I don’t even know if he spoke English. What teamwork!

By the time dinner finished, and we fidgeted, wondering about our return to the hotel, Robert showed up as if nothing had happened. He looked much better than when he’d dashed off. His voice, I noticed, was still a little odd. At least to me, his reason for the sudden disappearance was suspect.

“I had to see about my next tour,” he said to our obvious curiosity.

 IMG_0249

Dinner:

  • Soup with fresh chopped tomatoes
  • Rice
  • Shrimp with egg and green peppers
  • Corn with lima beans and carrots
  • Sweet and sour chicken balls
  • French fries (surprise)
  • Chicken with fungus and green peppers
  • Green leaf vegetable like spinach but not
  • Chopped mushrooms and green peppers
  • Eggplant, light spice

We returned to the hotel around 8:30 p.m. I picked up my laptop from the room and returned to the lobby for free WiFi access. I had trouble and asked the guy at reception for help. He looked at the list available and pointed to one, even though the words weren’t in Chinese. “Maybe, this one?” His choice didn’t work. He shrugged. I went off on my own, but soon became frustrated and worn out. I wanted nothing more than my bed. I gave up on e-mail.

Finally day's end

Finally day’s end. This is how my brain felt as well. 

Next on March 3rd: Beijing Part 8: Pearl Stores and Summer Palace

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014.

 

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100-Word Challenge for Grownups -Week 157

Check out below, on how it’s done and come on down:

https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week157-2/

This week’s prompt is … at last we were free… + 100 words

100wcgu-72

A New Page

Trina had to pull herself together. I need a cold shower. She pounded on her roommate’s bedroom door. Quiet as a tomb.

“Sarah. Wake up.” Trina squinted at the clock down the hall. “Come on, kiddo.” She gave the door another whack and proceeded to the bathroom and turned the water on. Then off. Odd. She paused. Blinked. And retraced her steps. “Time to sober up.” She turned the knob. “It’s Graduation Day. Remember we said we were free to start… Sarah…? A new page for the rest of our lives?

“You’re so cold.”

Oh. My. God.

Where’s my cell? “I need an ambulance. Hurry-please!”

The End

© 2015 Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles All Rights Reserved


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Guilin: Day 19, Part 2 – Out and About

Next stop South Sea Pearl Museum

Upon arrival, we were whisked through a five-minute presentation about the colour of pearls. Glassy-eyed, the husbands trailed behind. A runway fashion show followed with five formally dressed beauties displaying pearl earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Afterwards, we were whisked through double-doors into the salesroom with a flourish. The room was divided into three sections: good, medium, and best. One of the ladies in our group bought river pearls for 1,500 Yuan (about $250.00 USD.

Quick Facts:

  • Fresh water pearls are an irregular shape (not round)
  • Sea water pearls always round, only white, black and gold
  • Lots of iron in the water = black colour
  • Lots of copper in the water = purple, pink
  • Chinese females don’t wear gold pearls as they don’t look good against their skin colour
  • North Americans wear pink, white and black

The store glittered with enough brilliance to blind a stone statue. Hordes of sales staff—all young females—materialized out of nowhere. A sales assistant seemed to be available for every person through the door. The French group had arrived ahead of us and were already engaged in energetic persuasion. I wasn’t interested in pearls and wandered about, but returned to the front of the room where the husbands waited. An bar stool, facing the sales floor, presented an empty seat. I climbed on, a latte and wine bar at my elbow. Free? Not a chance. A convenient price list (in English) hung in full view. I’m grateful I wasn’t thirsty and didn’t bother checking out the prices.

Health Care:

  • A combination of Chinese and Western medicine
  • Western Medicine is faster
  • Chinese medicine has no side effects (so it’s thought)
  • You never want to drink the ‘healthy’ soup (I heard it’s worse than what ails you)

Lunch:

  • Corn soup (the most delicious from all others since arrival in China)
  • Chili and soy sauces
  • Rice with corn, pieces of carrot and egg
  • Celery and chestnuts, stir fried
  • Sweet and sour chicken with chunks of tomato wedges
  • Hot beef with green peppers and onions in a skillet (awesome)
  • Spring rolls
  • Bamboo chicken ( deep fried, on stick, spicy and delish)
  • Eggplant with tomato wedges and green peppers
  • Soft cooked (egg?) noodles with slivered red peppers and green (?) leaf and stalk vegetable
  • Watermelon slices
  • Tea
© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Today the plates are the largest we’ve had for any meal; bigger than a saucer and larger than a bread-and-butter-plate. Lots of oil used as in most all dishes and restaurants in China, but most delicious lunch I’ve had since arriving in China. Again, I’m stuffed, having scooped only one spoonful of each of the offerings.

After lunch, and for the first time, a liquor  was offered at 14 Yuan a shot glass (approximately $2.30 USD), but there were no takers. As well, a bit later, ice-cream and cappuccino were offered. Carolyn thought it was free so she ordered one of each. It turns out it wasn’t free. She turned it down and no-one else was interested either.

Jokes

When your wife catches you with another woman, you are completely finished.

If your wife likes to shop a lot, you are finished completely.

~ * ~

On March 20th:  No posting (on March Break)

Next up on March 27th:  Guilin, Day 19, Part 3 – Elephant Trunk Park

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


99 Comments

Beijing: Ming Tombs, Day 4, Part 2

After the Great Wall, a mid-day meal awaited in a local restaurant.

Lunch:

  • Spring rolls (exactly 8)
  • Fish balls with red and green peppers
  • Fried chicken
  • Eggplant with tomato and green peppers
  • Rice
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Soup
  • Cut up orange wedges for dessert
  • Tea
  • The usual one small free glass of beer, pop or water
The Spirit Way, original road and  entrance to the tombs. There are 13 tombs of which only one has been excavated  (Ding Ling)

The Spirit Way, original road and entrance to the tombs. There are 13 tombs of which only one has been excavated (Ding Ling)

Ming Tombs: where buried 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfynyPLm4Q0    (3.04 min)

If you would like a more in-depth version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1BqspVU2HA  (8:43 min)

Emperor Yongle with money offerings at his feet. This money is collected and used to maintain the building

Emperor Yongle with money offerings at his feet. This money is collected and used to maintain the building

 

Laundry: 

  • Hung on rope strung the length of apartment balconies
  • Clothes  hung on hangers: socks, T-shirts, sweaters, trousers, shirts, blouses
  • Did not notice any underwear or bedding

 

 On the way to dinner:

Robert and the driver appeared to converse more than usual. Robert’s cell rang. He talked at length. The call completed, he started another. Both he and the driver seemed tied to their phones for an unusual amount of time. Of course I didn’t understand a word, yet it crossed my mind something might be up. I can pull a rabbit out of any hat, real or imaginary.

Our bus pulled over to the curb and Robert declared he had to leave. The driver would take us to the restaurant we were told. He gave no explanation, but it wasn’t hard to see he was upset. Sue and I looked at each other. We couldn’t see any of the rest of the group seated in the high-backed seats in front and behind us.

IMG_0241

Heavy traffic surrounded us. After Robert hopped off, we drove on for a short distance still in the inside lane. Vehicles crawled bumper to bumper. Another bus slowed next to ours. Sue and I sat on the left of the aisle watching through the window. I squeezed my eyes shut as a bicyclist, with no room to spare, whizzed by between our two buses. I almost had a heart attack.

The other bus moved on. We remained stock-still in the curb lane. Traffic rolled past us. I thought the young fellow on the bike might have caused an accident. Traffic shifted and changed beside us; yet our bus waited immobile. Why? By now, the whole group craned necks and raised eyebrows around the seats at each other. I felt we noticed together, a car parked in front of the bus. Another five minutes or so dragged past. What could be happening? A man in a construction vest walked up to the car’s driver window brandishing his arms. I had no idea the car had an occupant. No translation was required. Move now he indicated. Nothing changed. A 20-something Chinese guy in black pants and a white shirt appeared at the side of the bus. The door flew open and he jumped in. The door slammed shut and I don’t recall any words exchanged with the driver. The parked car inched forward. Our bus did as well.

IMG_0243

In minutes, we turned into a driveway and a man, who might have been Security or Police, stepped in front of the bus. He waved his arms and shouted through the windshield and looked as if he wanted to push the bus back. What was going on? Words passed between the man outside and our driver or between the driver and the new passenger who hadn’t taken a seat. Too much going on to follow. The uniform vanished. The bus door opened again and the young man jumped out signalling for us to follow. I felt like a lamb on the way to heaven’s gate or maybe hell’s? All were silent, heads bowed, as we passed through an alley and a maze of cars and another lot into a restaurant. I flashed my Travel Tour ID towards an approaching waitress. She led us to Table 6ith our tour group name. I thought I’d been so smart. The|Chinese were smarter.

Once seated, one of our group noticed the young man worked as a waiter there. The picture became clear. This had been an orchestrated event. Before Robert rushed off, either he or the driver had pre-arranged for our escort. The driver had stalled until the black pants and white shirt found us. The driver couldn’t leave the bus to walk us to our destination. I don’t even know if he spoke English. What teamwork!

By the time dinner finished, and we fidgeted wondering about our return to the hotel, Robert showed up as if nothing had happened. He looked much better than when he’d dashed off. His voice, I noticed, was still a little odd. At least to me, his reason for the sudden disappearance suspect.

“I had to see about my next tour,” he said.

 IMG_0249

Dinner:

  • Soup with fresh chopped tomatoes
  • Rice
  • Shrimp with egg and green peppers
  • Corn with lima beans and carrots
  • Sweet and sour chicken balls
  • French fries (surprise)
  • Chicken with fungus and green peppers
  • Green leaf vegetable like spinach but not
  • Chopped mushrooms and green peppers
  • Eggplant, light spice

We returned to the hotel around 8:30 p.m. I picked up my laptop from the room and returned to the lobby for free WiFi access. I had trouble and asked the guy at reception for help. He looked at the list available and pointed to one, even though the words weren’t in Chinese. “Maybe, this one?” His choice didn’t work. He shrugged. I went off on my own, but soon became frustrated and worn out. I wanted nothing more than bed. I gave up on e-mail.

Finally day's end

Finally day’s end

Next on July 11th, Beijing, Day 5, Part 1: Pearl Stores and Summer Palace

For all related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page.

 


51 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups Week #130

‘What is 100WCGU?

This week’s prompt: … but it has nuts in…

100wcgu-72

Used.

Charlie leaned beneath the rusted hood again. What genius unloaded this useless wreck on my son?

“Where’d you get this old rattletrap, LeRoy?”

“It was free, Pop.”

“Not worth anything, that’s sure.”

“I want to fix and drive it.”

Charlie jerked his head out too fast and banged his head. “Ow!” Dead cigar clamped hard between his yellowed teeth, he shook his head. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?”

“Won’t cost nothing neither. I found this box of…”

“Doesn’t matter.”

But it has nuts in here, bolts and screws.”

“What you need is an engine, boy. Got one in there, do you?”


28 Comments

Hear Hear. It has Arrived!

When I’m excited, I jump up and down, although I shouldn’t because my knees are no longer elastic and can’t take the shock. Another idea is to celebrate, but how is anything fun when done alone? I know! I’ll share the good news with you, my fellow bloggers.

The mailman delivered my copy of Flashes from the Bistro. I opened the package and sat down as soon as I turned the first page. Then another and another. I grinned, shivered and giggled out loud. Hooked, that’s what I was. I had to tell you where to find these unusual visualizations of the twenty-six authors within.

The vinaigrettes in this anthology consist of as many as 150 to less than 50 words. No, you won’t find recipes or tips on how to run an eatery, but minute stories to tease, unsettle, and entertain instead. Some of the stories are delicious, while others are a little dark yet impossible to resist, and you’ll find twists and turns where you least expect them.

I can describe the gems inside, but I want you to be surprised firsthand. You see how my enthusiasm is hard to contain?

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Click here to take a leisurely tour.

In addition, you will find other books by various noteworthy authors. Go now. Check it out. You’ll be delighted, I’m sure. See a format you like?

Don’t forget to check out the free book bin on your way out.


2 Comments

Love You to Pieces

Grandparents would be lying if they didn’t admit that even though they LOVE their grandkids to pieces, the OTHER best part of their visit with you is that they get to go home and sleep like your children all tucked into their beds—the sleep of knowing THEY are yours and you have full responsibility for them.

Remember the sleepless nights: the sore throats and fevers? Let’s not forget the diapers, the wet beds, the potty training days when our kids came along—the ones who are now the parents? Been there. Done that already when you were born! It’s one thing to step in and help out once in a while but where is it written that we’re automatically on call? Ya gotta live your life as as we lived ours: on your own two feet.

I always said I wasn’t going to be a built-in babysitter but I got sucked in when I looked at those sweet innocent faces, with their luminous eyes and satiny skin you ought to be able to buy in the nearest drugstore. Now it’s a slippery slope between getting to do what I’ve been gearing up for in my retirement and giving in yet again.  Stop trying to influence me by using my  grandkids like the proverbial  carrot.

Why should I feel guilty every time you’re in a fix? You say you don’t trust anyone else with them? Ah-huh. I’m retired now. I’m FREE to do as I please. FINALLY. I have a life. Yay. Do you HEAR me?

Knock, knock?

I can’t hear you. Didn’t you say that grandma is going a bit deaf?