Friday Jonny took part of the day off and we went for massages. I had a milk rose foot massage for 1 1/2 hours and Jonny had a full body massage for 2 hours. I think my massage was a whopping $6 and Jonny's was $12.50. Massages in China are a bit different from our fancy spas or in home massages back home. They have a TV in every room and you are the controller of the TV. I flipped through the stations and found only 2 English channels and ended up switching between world news and the Sponge Bob Squarepants movie. I had a male masseuse and it was a very interesting massage that involved lots of feet rubbing, soaking, and leg stretching. You also get a short back and shoulder massage, which I could have done without because it was pretty rough. Jonny on the other hand managed to fall asleep for a half an hour while he was rubbed and walked on by a very small Chinese woman. Next time I think I will have the whole body massage.
We went back to the hotel and picked up the kids and Xiou Yang and took them to lunch at Peter's. Our ayi doesn't speak very much English, so sometimes we communicate through Joseph our driver. We got to the restaurant and I wanted Xiou Yang to have lunch with us, but she didn't really know what to order off a Western menu even though it was written in Chinese characters too. I had Peter, the owner, tell Xiou Yang to please have lunch and he ended up picking something for her. She had her first western food and it was Chicken Cordon Bleu, mashed potatoes, and green beans. She laughed when it arrived and after trying a bit she started picking the green chilies that I had left on my plate most likely to add a little spice to her dish.
Saturday we decided to check out the 2nd new Starbuck's in Chengdu. It was very nice and a little less busy than the one in Tianfu Square. While we were having coffee we were trying to decide where to go after the first of the year for Chinese New Year and we have a winner. We have decided to go back to Australia for two weeks. We are heading to Brisbane and Byron Bay hoping to catch up with Jonny's family and also having a little beach time around the Sunshine Coast.
We realized that there was a department store attached to Starbuck's and decided to explore. I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of stuff for the kids. I didn't think I would be able to find them things for Christmas, but I found tons of toys and clothes. We also checked out the walking street where there were tons more shops.
Now an observation about the Chinese, they LOVE children, especially Western children. I thought it was just because of the blonde locks on Gemma, but they even love Angus more. As I was shopping I wasn't paying much attention to anyone else, but Jonny was being driven crazy by everyone's need to touch Gemma and Angus. He just kept getting more annoyed because they all had to touch Angus' face. He called Joseph and asked him to teach him in Chinese how to say: You can look, but you cannot touch!
Saturday night I decided it was my turn to go out and check out the nightlife of Chengdu. I called Izola, a colleague of Jonny's and we decided to go out on the town. We went to the Shamrock, the local Irish Pub and probably the most popular hang out for westerners. We met some characters. There was a woman, Kathy from Texas that was in Chengdu visiting her brother and his Chinese wife. She teaches Oral English at a University here in town. I had seen her before because she is one who stands out in a crowd, big, blonde hair and very voluptuous. She gave us all the gossip of Chengdu. We met Clive an English professor who is teaching biology and chemistry at a local university. He is always at the Shamrock every time we visit, so it was nice to hear his story. Then there was Sarah a potty-mouthed Chinese-Korean woman who recently graduated from University of Washington. For some reason it seems wrong to me for such petite, adorable woman should speak like a sailor. There was also a Russian woman, South African woman, and a crowd of Brits that we met. One of the Brits happened to be from Jonny's home country of Northern Ireland around Enniskillen. I swear the Irish are everywhere!
I also found out the hard way that there is no closing time at the pubs in China. I kept thinking it was last call, but when I finally asked some one when the pubs closed they told me around 7 or 8 in the morning! I looked at my watch and knew I would pay dearly the next day actually it was the next day!
My Chengdu of the day is do visit the Shamrock while in Chengdu.
My Chengdon't of the day is don't forget to set your watch alarm, so that you don't stay at the Shamrock until 3 a.m.