Today there were no plans for cycling. Nor are we in the South Bay. (This meets Blogbot 4.5.7 system requirements to mention “cycling” or “South Bay” in order to generate today’s machine-written post.)
There were, however, plans to test the breakfast buffet, which had stir-fried vegetables, dim sum, baked sweet potato, curry & rice, bamboo shoots, and the best Oolong tea I’ve ever imagined.
Note: After careful observation I’ve concluded that the Chinese are somewhat expert at tea. Possible business/import opportunity here?
We were late for breakfast, which opened at 6:30 AM, arriving at 6:31-ish. After my second trip through the buffet I realized that this was going to wreck my diet for master’s states the week after we return, so I abandoned the Chinese buffet and ordered eggs Benedict and a waffle off the menu.
Mrs. WM looked askance. “Your tummy onna poppin’ your top button if you keep onna food shovel.”
“We’ll walk it off,” I said.
Mrs. WM took out her calculator. “What are you doing?” I asked. “There’s no tipping. It’s not even a place in China.”
“Thirty-five miles,” she said.
“Thirty-five miles to where?”
“To your skinny. Thatsa how far you gotta walkin’ today to lose one pound. And the way you onna eatin’ breakfast like starvin’ blogger you got two new tummy pounds my guessin’. So 70 miles walkin’ today. I’m onna taxi though.”
We left the hotel and it was a gorgeous morning and we started tripping. There are 3 to 12-inch drop-offs and step-ups along the sidewalks every fifty feet or so which either keeps you on your toes or puts you on your ass.
To get to the other side of the station we took an underground passageway reeking of piss and the refuge of a few bums on cardboard mats. One guy had shit his pants and rolled over in some old chicken bones and curry and seemed to be getting a pretty solid sleep or was dead or both.
I gave $50 NTD to a beggar and felt like a Rockefeller even though it was only about $1.50 USD.
We walked over to an old fort and strolled the grounds which were alive with birds. I got spotted dove, red collared dove, and black-vented bulbul, three outrageously beautiful birds. There were a couple of other obviously common birds I couldn’t identify, one with a striped breast and the most amazing red eyes I’ve ever seen not at a Grateful Dead concert.
It rained on us but we didn’t care, stopping at a tea shop and again enjoying this tea thing. I’m really starting to think that Westerners might like it.
Mrs. WM was super impressed when I ordered tea and we got coffee. “Your Chinese gettin’ better,” she said. “Lady knew you talkin’ Chinese anyway.”