SPRING FESTIVAL: Day 144, Monday January 20 2014

Ball, ball, snake!” We were in the park outside our apartment practicing Tai Chi, and I was coming up with names for all of the different moves.

Snake? You’ve changed the name of that one three times!” Nate was laughing at me. Originally we’d planned to go to hero mountain, but Nate had been coughing last night from the pollution, so we’d slept in instead.

Cloud hand, cloud hand” I ignored the overgrown ginger’s criticism.

That’s not cloud hand!”

Strike!”

The wind had held and the air was deliciously clean (though probably still more polluted then Toronto on it’s worst days). It was cold, but the brisk air was worth it for the relief on the lungs.

We met Nate’s friend Larry for coffee around 2:00 pm at a cute cafe full of antique furniture, with a little under the stairs nook. Our spring festival break is only one week away so we discussed travel plans. We are going to Sonya’s until the second or third and then will take a train from Tai’An to Qingdao, where we will meet up with Larry. We need to pick up a gift for Sonya’s family. Larry suggested honey, wine, tea, or baijiu as good gifts.

Larry showed us the “In Zone” a large supermarket under the square that we had never known existed. “You know the Banjo Music Bar?” Larry asked us on the way, “I went there, it’s a very good bar.”

Oh yeah?” Nate replied, who had asked the question about bars in the first place.

Yeah, me and my friends. We only have three beers, but then there was a fight. Very exciting.”

A fight!?” We laughed.

Yeah three girls and two guys and then four girls and one guy.”

Oh wow a big fight.”

Yeah it was so exciting. So exciting,” he repeated.

In Zone had Canadian wine! From Niagra! We thought it would add a personal touch to our gift so we bought one along with some honey.

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