As I had mentioned the food was fantastic!….most of it. Each night our hosts took us upstairs from the restaurant to private dining rooms. Here we were seated around a huge round table with beautiful linens, covered chairs, and a large “lazy susan” in the center of the table. Fine wines were poured. They toiled over the menu for what seemed like a long time and then ordered countless, and I mean COUNTLESS dishes for us to try. I didn’t know what most of it was, but one dish I had the previous couple of evenings, looked something like chopped cooked apples in brown sugar. Tasted different, but very good. I finally inquired as to what this tasty little dish was. The person waiting on us was called over and a lot of conversing went on that I didn’t understand and then she disappeared. No answer….I figured something was lost in the translation and I wasn’t going to worry about it. About 15 minutes later she reappeared with a menu with some english in it and pointed to “Jelly Fish”! Now the only experience I had with jelly fish growing up was not good…and certainly you don’t eat those things, do you?! Wow, wish I hadn’t asked. That kind of set the tone for my evening. At this time, they are still bringing out more and more dishes. After that last little bit of enlightening information, I’m asking more questions about the food now. A huge bowl comes zipping by me on the lazy susan, wait…was that frog legs? I’ve had frog legs before, so I tried some. These were still on the bone, so not so easy to manuever with the chopsticks. After I downed a couple, I asked what this dish is. Again the conference and finally one says, “it’s a little animal that hops through the forest, kind of like a frog….” Kind of???? Ok, if they can’t identify it, I’m thinking OMG I just ate a toad! I lived.
What are the mystery masks you wonder? We had beautiful rooms over there. In Nantong, I get to my room and it is a large suite with two bathrooms, full living room, separate bedroom, and the list goes on. So I’m nosing around, checking out all the amenities, two granite tiled bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate showers, two very large flat panel TVs, huge -huge bed, tons of closet space …and oh gee, next to the safe in the closet is this:
I can honestly say, not able to read Chinese, I was ALARMED to find this in the closet! Call me crazy but now I’m having flashbacks to my childhood when we still had air raid drills in school! I mean, really, do we have these in hotels over here?! If they do I haven’t noticed them before. What are they preparing for?! As it turns out these are in case of fire in the hotel and this is your “Fire Escape Hood”. Well, I guess I’m ok with that.
This is why I enjoy traveling and experiencing all the different cultures!
..and my words of wisdom to women traveling alone: Their convention gatherings at the hotel are the same there as here…some very loud, drinking men in the adjoining room to mine – sleep with the iron on your nightstand, you can easily clock one or two of them if they happen to bust through! 🙂