Yesterday I went to Penglai with David and his friend Yoshy. We took a bus from Yantai to Penglai in the morning, and I bought the tickets because my Chinese rocks! (and by “rocks,” I mean “is barely functional”) We ended up with three seats together, but they were NOT sized for foreigners!!!
When we arrived in Penglai, we went first to a construction site. I don’t know if I’m mentioned the naptime phenomenon. Around noon, all of Shandong takes a nap. Workmen take off their shoes, put their shirts over their heads, and lie down whever they happen to be. Cab drivers pull over and lean back in their seats. It reminds me a little of Miranda in Serendity.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t fit in any of our backpacks.
Then we walked along an incredibly dirty beach looking for the famous Penglai mirage. There was some kind of haze, either mist or pollution, on the water, which was really pretty but I didn’t see a phantom city.
We got to the pavilion and for some reason there are seals in a tank here. I took a picture but it’s depressing to see the seals in a little bitty pool so I’m not going to post it. The pavilion itself is a little touristy, but beautiful anyway.
Dave and Yoshy started to call me “Iceman” for reasons that have NOTHING to do with my love of iced coffee! I don’t really get it, but they think they’re Goose and Maverick and if everyone’s going to stare at you anyway, why not have fun with it? So we walked around the pavilion making up put our story to go with the artwork, but our story is not fit to be repeated. We got our picture taken at every turn, which isn’t really anything unusual now.
As we walked back to the downtown area, this guy stopped to give us a lift. We didn’t quite fit in the back, but at least this time I wasn’t half on Yoshy’s lap. While we were in the cart, and getting passed by old women on motorscooters, Dave kept shaking his head and saying “The things I have to do to keep your blog interesting, Meg!”
One of the cool things about new-to-China folks is that all the gross and creepy things are suddenly funny when you show somone else. These fish, for example, which are drying in the street prior to being eaten. “Hey Yoshy!” I said a while later, as we passed a man selling barbeque on the street, “You know what this is?”
“They’re cocoons. Barbequed semi-butterflies.”
“Why are they moving?”
“Because they’re so fresh!”