I am sorry I am such a bad blogger lately. Some weeks are worse than others. Anyway, Saturday I stayed in until I went out. That was lunch-time. I went across the street to the scary isolated row of restaurants there. Scary because many of them have people dressed in traditional costumes waiting to grab you and drag you in if you walk to close. One I walked to specialized in duck necks, and that was about the least gross thing they had on offer. This time, though, I went into one which featured in giant font the Chinese character zhou for porridge (or congee, as the mysterious translation English has it).
Now porridge is a bit boring the world round, but I have found it especially bland here. It's stuff you get for breakfast, usually made of millet and water and nothing else, not even salt. I've realized that people drink it instead of water--a sort of slightly more filling water. If you think of it that way, it's actually not bad. But I was mystified as to how a whole restaurant could be run on this concept. I had once overheard a fellow FBer say, though, that she liked where she was living because, among other attractions, there was a zhou restaurant around the corner. So there must be something there aside from stuff only a Chinese person could love (duck necks...).
Brilliant surprise: lunch zhou is delicious. I had one that was made with chicken and almonds and white rice, seasoned to perfection. Chinese chicken soup with rice. It was great. I am totally going back to the porridge restaurant as the weather gets colder. For dessert I had a whole plate of steamed fried buns with sweetened condensed milk. All to myself, ha ha ha! It's kind of amazing that I'm still losing weight, given the number of sinful treats I have discovered. But it seems like tension and walking and biking and the occasional gigantic excursion do the trick because the clothes I brought with me are all getting inconveniently large.
After lunch I went to the National Library. This was a dead loss because everything's closed on Saturday. Sigh.
I'd had a headache since morning, but I ignored it and went to the Carrefour on the way home. There I obtained a set of long underwear (red) and a new coat. The long underwear was the largest I could find in women's sizes (XL) and it barely barely fits. I'm in this uncomfortable in between realm where nothing available here fits me but everything I brought is too big. Good thing I don't care much about clothes. I have a suspicion that long underwear is a must here, however, due to the amount of it that is being sold (and bought) in every store I walk into. "Go with the crowd" is generally a good motto in China. The guy in front of me at the check-out was buying four sets!
As for the coat, the only coat I brought with me is my long grey wool one, which tragic experience shows does not go happily with bike riding. So I thought it would be good to get a shorter coat as well. Now I know how Colin feels trying to buy clothes. One's choices are severely limited when you have to hold out for XXL. But it's oddly liberating to know that there's no point in even trying anything smaller. Darn broad shoulders. Fortunately, there were some super-discount coats that were ALL XXL, presumably the reason for being discounted. Not sure, but anyway, here's me in my $7 coat. It's nice and warm. In fact, as the weather just keeps on getting colder, I have taken to wearing it in my room. The heat goes on November 15. I am counting the days!
I like this coat, in the way that I sometimes take to things that are "not at all me." Colin says it looks very Chinese. I think it makes me look like someone else, but an interesting someone else. Maybe a padded white bunny. Or maybe I do just like it because of its delicious soothing insulation properties...
Since blogger is being so well-behaved tonight, I also post below a picture of the gorgeous Saturday night sunset.