Headed into town to meet up with my friend Ivy today to spend the day shopping and have a meal or two. There's a line in a movie that's stuck with me for the past few years. The movie isn't important, but the sentiment is. I've got red in my ledger. I'm fortunate that I've got people that have made my life better. How can I best return the favor? Tell them I love them more. Give them my time and energy. That's the plan today. We'll see how it goes.
We're going to meet at the Intercontinental Hotel. There's a very cool restaurant there that I've been to before and would like to go back. Lots of shopping and small shops in the area.
The mall we went to near the hotel had 8 floors of shops, stores, and restaurants. From the top you could see all the way down to the bottom floor.
Not too many people in the mall. Less than half of the citizens feel the need to wear masks now. After being told so often that Covid would kill them I don't blame them for taking a long time to unmask. It will happen over time. Mostly we just walked and talked. Ivy has to travel for business and will be gone for a month. She's heading to Islamabad in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. I'm sure we'll get together after she returns. Maybe go on a hike to the top of the hill behind my apartment.
Before having dinnner inside the Intercontinental hotel (big golden ball) we walked around outside and checked out the city. The way Chinese cities are lit up at night is very cool. Not sure which area I like best. This one or West Lake? It's a coin flip. Both have their allure. This photo is from the rivers edge back toward the Intercontinental. The other direction across the river is just as cool, but it was a bit hazy last night and I couldn't get a good picture of the enormous stadium all lit up in a violet color.
The Intercontinental is a super cool building. The only thing I can compare it to is the Luxor in Las Vegas, but this one is spherical. Each one of the rings is a different floor of the hotel with views across the river and into another part of the city. Notice, I can't say the "city". There are several sections of the city that are equivalent to downtown Seattle. This city is just enormous compared to every American city. For example, New York City is about 300 square miles. Hangzhou is about 6000 square miles. That sounds nuts. Consider that I live on the extreme southern border of Hangzhou. I've taken an hour taxi ride at highway speeds to get to the middle of the city. It's really that freaking spread out. Hangzhou alone has more people in it than the entire state of Washington.
I love this picture. I must have tried to get this shot about ten times before I got one that captures the nature of the building from the restaurant at near the bottom. Another two floors down there's a more exclusive restaurant that gets into the ridiculous prices for here. We spent about $100 USD for the buffet on this level. Lots of mei wei (delicious food). Sounds like "may we".
Shopping resulted in no purchases, but I did spend a lot of timing thinking about the important people in my life and what sorts of things that they might appreciate from Hangzhou. Time well spent. I've got lots of ideas to work with now.