We arrive and take a short walk to the park and I shoot some pictures and take some video as we make our way to the school and get the tickets for the tour. The school was awe striking, older then our country, and with such detailed carvings and attention to detail to detail. Being in the military you learn that attention to detail is what makes the difference, and this ancient school was full of it. Unfortunately my camcorder’s batteries died after only 15 or so minutes of filming so I had to rely on the pentax, which ran out of film soon. I picked up a nice bone bracelet for my mother, this school is one of the origins of ivory carving in China!
It was nice to stroll the garden talking and getting to know each other better, which made me happier as I now knew she has similar feelings for me as I do for her. On the way out we ended up posing for pictures of the garden statues with some visiting Chinese university students, making some funny pictures, I hope they come out!
From here we ventured to the Jade market via a wild taxi ride, good think I do not understand Chinese! We get dropped off and stroll past a few crammed pack little shops before we turn a corner and end up in a back ally full of various vendors selling everything! If I had brought more money I would have had to rent a truck! One item I got my hostess to barter for me was an old style one handed sword. From the condition of the blade and some of the markings it appears to be antique, but even if it isn’t it is a very nice sword and will make by far the most interesting piece for my small antique weapons collection. We then proceed to pick up some more souvenirs, this time for myself. I take some snap shots of the old buildings, streets, people, and wares they were selling and we then pop out back onto a modern street. It was like stepping into a time machine, and I now know I have to make it back here sometime in the future!
By this time it is too late to make it to the temples as they close at 5 PM and we can not get there in time, so we stop off by a coffee shop and enjoy some iced coffee drinks and check email and bank balances. After the delicious mocha we head off to a seafood restaurant. This restaurant had fresh seafood, and I mean fresh! Same procedure as before, we ordered and then got our tickets, went to the tank room and picked our foods, made our way to other tables and picked vegetables, most of which I had no clue to what it was and my wonderful host did not know the English names, but I trust her and rightly so… they were delicious. The way they serve shrimp is very different they here in America, and they do not peel them, so I held up dinner for a long time! It is good I am good at using chop sticks too, there were only 3 meals I ate where silverware was used.
During dinner we discussed our trip to Macau, which surprisingly enough she had never been to… added bonus it would be a very memorable trip for us both. We work out the details, pick up and head to the bus stop. We have a little time left so we go to a dessert shop and order another yummy dessert on a warm muggy evening. We have to change our order to to-go and then rush to catch the bus. We make it back and enjoy a quick stroll along the gardens of the complex and then head home to pack for our trip to Macau.