Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 32 - Hot Pot Restaurant and Thousand Flower Park

Day 32

We decided that we needed to go to Walmart and see if we could find some things there that we hadn’t been able to find anywhere else in Ji’nan (like granola and Jello).  We met Wayne and Libby Clark there since they had been there before and thought they could help us find them.  We found lots of things, but Jello and Granola are eluding us here in Ji’nan. 

We got our treasures home and after a short rest, we went out in search of food.  One restaurant looked interesting to us, so we went in.  It is a “hot pot” restaurant.  Here is how it works.  There is a hot plate in the middle of the table and you order the type of broth you want.  It comes to you hot and the hot plate keeps it boiling.  You also order vegetables, noodles and meats to put in the boiling broth.  It is a little like fondue, but it is also different.  There are also different sauces that you can choose ranging from mild and tasty to hot enough to make you sweat.  They didn’t have an English menu for us, but a nice young woman came over and explained the menu and interpreted it for us.  She happens to be a teacher at Shandong Normal University and her husband is a teacher at Shandong Central Campus.  She spent a lot of time with us and we were very grateful to her. 

Eating at the hot pot restaurant.  The woman that helped us can be seen at table behind us in the white top and blue dot skirt.  A great way to eat lots of veggies.

Our food came and we started cooking it.  I slid my chair over to let David have better access to the boiling pot of broth and all the goodies in it and inadvertently hit the extension cord that the hot plate was plugged into and turned it off.  We didn’t know what had happened until the pot stopped boiling and the food was taking ever so long to cook (we were hungry!).  They discovered what I had done and we got it turned on.  I moved the chair and it kept turning off, so there was probably something wrong with the extension cord or the plug.  It was a fun experience and one that we will repeat.  We took one of their paper menus home and plan to have it translated so that we can do this again and know what to order. 

After lunch, we went to a park that is not far from David and I called, “Thousand Flower Park.”  The flowers are mostly gone now, but it is still a beautiful park.  We started around on the main path, but we kept getting off of it because of all the things that we wanted to hear and see.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking today.

People will bring their birds to the park during the day and then take them home at night.  David thinks they are some kind of a thrush.  They sang to each other and it was just wonderful to hear.

One of the ponds at the park.

We also had an interesting experience in the park.  As we were walking along, we hear someone behind us singing, Handel’s Messiah!  We turn around and see a woman walking about five feet behind us.  We start singing with her and even get into some harmony with it.  She let us know that she was a Christian.  She gave us some pamphlets and kept talking to us, but we don’t understand anything she says.  She shows us her music.  Can’t read what songs she has either.  It was funny in a way.  We can’t talk to Chinese National’s about our religion because it might be considered preaching, so having this woman come up to speak to us and letting us know by the fact that she was singing Handel’s Messiah, figuring that any other Christian would know that song also was something that made us worry a little.  It wasn’t us that contacted her, so I think we are okay if anyone saw it and had a problem with it.

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