After our almos midnight snack (dinner) last night, everyone was keen for a sleep in this morning. Nikki and Tony spent the night at the country side in their "wedding room" and we were expecting them back some time today as tonight was booked for a night out for the foreigners and some of Tonys school friends in Dezhou
About 12ish, the message came through from our newly weds that they were on their way home and would pick up KFC in anyone wanted it. When they arrived we found out that once we had all left the country side, Tony parents had dinner with Nikki and Tony and the dreaded "lets drink lots" which didn't seem to happen at the wedding was in all full force.
Without us there to help "protect" or divert attention from the newly weds, they had quite an enjoyable dinner with Tonys family and were feeling the effects on Saturday morning. thus the KFC. After lunch (the boys had already gone exploring), Mel, Gemma and I headed out to meet them leaving Nikki and Tony to recover and catch some zs.
We went to a department store which was pretty interesting. Of course none of the clothes would even come close to fitting us but it was interesting to see the range of styles and what is fashionable in China. One of the big sand outs is that the chinese like a lot of embellishment, referred to by the girls as "chinking something", Apparently after spending some time in China you tend to se this as normal and I remember back to before I left when I had to tone down Nikkis choice of wedding day jewellry and these statements make perfect sense.
The departmment store is kind of like our Myer or David Jones rather than a shopping centre with little counters everywher and different groups of things like clothing brands jewellry and collectables. There was also a fruit and vegetale market downstairs ad supermarket. The other girls were quite impressed to see fresh mince as they don't a lot of it in Putian and weren't sure the Chinese knew how to do it. There was also fresh (barely alive) fish that you could get straight out of the tank, fresh meat, and lollies and bread and stuff.
After my cocky statement yesterday that I have started to master the art of dressing for the temparature, of course I got it wrong today. It seems to have warmed up a bit and especially in the heated store, I almost sweated. Once we got outside though it was back to normal and colder again but I was definitiely regretting my previous statement as if it had tempted the weather gods to say " ha you think you're so clever, deal with this :P
After the shopping, we found the boys and headed for a walk along the (frozen) river. There was an area with little pillars that you could jump across to a statue of a young diver (as in the olympic sport) I was a bit confsued and thought at first it was just like an angel statue but later I realised she was wearing togs and oh look, she's preparing for a like a 10m dive.
Some of the others were game enough to stand on the ice, but I was only brave enough to walk on a few of the pillars and then headed back to terra firma.
As we continue to walk along the river side, there was an area that must have some fresh water coming in as there was a small half cicle (about 4m radius) in which some crazy chinese man (and others arrived to do it as well) went for a swi in his DTs and cap and goggles. We of course ignored the sign saying don't cross this point and took photos to tell our friends and remember the crazy man...
Also along this walkway, was a few sculptures and we were trying to find the Imperial Gardens that the boys had seen a sign for. In the end the got a taxi and we tried to follow but instead just ended up down a dead end street ad gave up, heading back to thehotel.
One of he bridesmaids (mel) worked at Ernest Henry where I did Vac work in my final year so we spent the afternoon doing some reminiscing and seeing who we both knew that was still there, or als people who are there now that I know through Uni and other paces I've worked. I also had the chance to tell my famous naked bus story again whcih always brings back hilarious memories.
Tonight we were going to hire a KTV room for the 7 of us and some of Tonys classmates would also join us. We decided to eat at the revolving restaurant at the Dezhou World hotel which was pretty cool. For 58 Yuan (about $10) you get all you can eat, chinese and some western inspired dishes, and beer (although Jemma, Mel and I soon discovered that when we got up to grab something to eat our beer would betaken away if there was no one at the table.) Despite the slightly nauseating feeling of moving without looking like your moving, it was a very nice meal and after that we headed off to the KTV place for a night of karaoke and of course more beer, although I had pledged my last experience wasn't going to happen again. especially as it looked like Nikki, Tony and I would need to be up and gone b y 9am as they needed to go to the graveyard and burn some money and meet Tonys Grandparents (dads parents)
The KTV was lots f fun, and I learnt a new drinking game involving five dice each and a little bit like cheat that we used to play as kids all the time.
Thankfully it was only going to be a quiet night and all the smokiness of China is definitely a flash back to before smoking was banned in QLD (remind me never to take that rule for granted again)
So back to the hotel, final packing and off to bed for an early start in the morning.