Yesterday, Kris and I ventured out to breakfast.  We stopped at a place right on the corner that I usually walk right by, assuming I won’t understand anything and not wanting to be embarassed with a bunch of my students there.  Well we found several photos of food items there and while we were looking, a local lady, Kitty, who speaks English quite well decided to help us!!  She was very kind and quite helpful!  She’s a tour guide and takes groups to some of the surrounding countries.

Today, we went back out for breakfast and then went for a walk.  We began on a familiar path and soon found ourselves in one of the many local parks.

We found a new grocery store, a new pasta restaurant (name:  New Pasta), a fire department and another park.

This one had a library on edge.

The first floor will soon hold a museum of travel literature, the basement had a newspaper and magazine (everything is in Mandarin) and the top floor has a study area.  One of the plants growing outside the building reminded me so much of something my grandmother used to grow!  The park next to the library was quite large!  And for a while, we really had no idea where we were.  We heard karaoke, saw a pond with fish, was a stadium, monkeys and small shops.  As we reached the edge of the park, we saw a familiar building and couldn’t believe that we were actually looking at the Sogo Department store.   Yes, we walked all the way downtown!  We window shopped for hats, shoes, books, fragrances, skin care products and food at wonderful new restaurants we’ve not seen before!  It was interesting to see items from Scottish, Asian, French and other Europeans that I’ve not see before in the US.  We saw the Curry Dictionary restaurant,again, as well as steak restaurants, an Asian fusion place, Japanese, Italian and American (McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken).  We actually saw a couple of bars (we don’t see many of them at all!)

We also saw a huge temple downtown as well as a ‘multi ethnic performance hall’.

We started out the day sending photos to folks on the phone, but quickly got caught up in the smells (some good, most not), the bizarre sights (someone on a scooter hooked up to an IV and scootering on down the street!!!) that we took what photos we could and I’m posting mine here.

We left about 11 am and returned around 6pm.  I’m surprised I hung in there all day!  I’m congested and not feeling too well.  However, it was a sunny day and I was just enjoying being with Kristen.