Friday, January 13, 2012

Another Blog from my Dad!

Yesterday we took the bus from Dali to Kunming.  The bus ride was an uneventful trip and had time to show three Chinese movies.  One romantic comedy about a 30 year old man who was trying to get his masters in psychology at Oxford, but could not because his examining panel felt he did not understand women.  So he goes home to China and falls in love with a girl who turns out to be a student at the high school where he teaches.  For some reason they are roommates too.  Then he declares his love.  The student rejects him.  He goes back to Oxford.  The girl realizes her mistake and follows him.  Coincidentally, she shows up during his re-examination and declares her love and he passes and they get married.  Or close enough.  The other movies were not much better, but at least they made the trip seem much longer than expected.

Today Will needed to go to the Vietnam Embassy, so Tessa and I went to the Horti Expo Garden.  The cab ride was another adventure.  For a long time we were stuck in traffic, but it seemed to make the cabbie very, very angry.  She just kept yelling and honking until traffic started to move again.  I do not think it was because of her yelling.  I think the light just changed to green.

The Horti Expo Garden had a very nice entry way and ticket taker.  When you are buying your ticket you can see some tour trolleys, a snack bar and a giant clock on the side small hill.  It turns out that is about all there is to see.  Mostly is a deserted group of exhibit halls and "national gardens."  Some of the exhibit halls are crumbling.  One even has grass growing out of the wall.  The China Hall was in pretty good shape, but just had some furniture samples on display.  The Thailand garden area had a sign that said "Crocodiles," but that just turned out to be an empty stinky room.  After wandering in the rain, all the while watching out for escaped crocodiles, we decided to head to the "Expo National Styles Food Area."  By that time our expectations were very low.  We finally found the abandoned building where the food area used to be and decided it was time to head to the exit and find some lunch.  If you need a set for a low budget, post apocalyptic disaster movie, I can recommend the Horti Expo Garden. 

Once we had found the exit Tessa and I found a restaurant.  It turned out to be the kind where you point to the items in the glass door fridge.  At that point we really missed Will, but we pointed to some veggies and some meat, got a great lunch (some kind of grilled ribs, spinach with garlic and a soupy green leafy thing), and headed back to the hotel.  The traffic on the way back was much better.  Will had just finished the first part of his efforts at getting his Visa so now we are all back in the room and planning our next outing in Kunming.


  1. Way to go, Guest Blogger! Re: the dismal Horti Expo Garden and the missing crocodiles: The Forbidden Palace is lacking a certain something, too. Like the stuff that goes in it. Ten thousand people looking into empty, looted, rooms, with signs telling you how beautiful everything is. China is confusing. Or, maybe not. Now that I think about it, what the Horti Expo Garden sounds like is the "See A Real Live Buffalo Herd!" and "The Amazing Giant Ice Cave!" kind of thing that used to exist along U.S. highways. There were more children per car in those days; the parents were dreadfully outnumbered. We had 8, so you can imagine. There were 7 more kids in the car than buffalo in that 'herd', for instance. But, more buffalo than crocodiles, Bill!

  2. Don't forget the El Morro of the north (where pioneers allegedly wrote their names (apparently in charcoal or the like) on a rock in Wyoming as they passed through. Having been to the real El Morro, that still remains a highpoint for unmet expectations!