I’m late. Late to start the day. I try to map out when to do what especially with the weather. Is it raining? Probably. I don’t leave the hostel till after noon. I’m turned about because I think I’m on a different street but sort it out.
I decided to stay local and leave the top sites for an early morning start. I find a map at Qianhai Lake and meet a British (?) couple. They invite me to join them but I decline because I’ve literally been out in Beijing for ten minutes. I make note of the lake to return to later tonight.
I head over to a restaurant I found on Tripadvisor called Dali Courtyard. One of the reviews mentioned a set menu was available. A little pricey but what the hell, it’s a good way to try new things. Here’s the entrance.
I’m seated and the waiter hands me a drink menu. I ask for the food menu and he tells me it’s only a set menu. I confirm the price because I’m low on cash. I don’t think credit cards are a thing here.
You see where this is going. My experience with set menus typically involve three courses– one appetizer, one main and one dessert. You’re laughing now, I can tell. Please start placing bets on how much I actually eat. I’ll wait.
The waiter returns again with chicken and potatoes. He asks me if I’d like rice as well. Good lord sir how much do you think I can eat?!
Thankfully the waiter leaves and does not return with anymore dishes. Half way through the salad I realize that maybe I should not be eating it with water quality issues in China. Too late to worry about that now so I finish the salad. I eat all the fish. The other dishes are half eaten. I’m full and ready to see the neighborhood!
I make my way over to the Lama Temple and find it just closing. D’oh! I continue walking without a goal other than an ATM. I end up way off course at a mall. It’s all decked out with these characters.
The mall requires you to go through security just like on the subway. The shops are mostly the usual brands like H&M and Fossil. I use the ATM and start the long walk back to the hostel. I run into this guy who’s quite proud of his mechanical servant.
I find a trendy street called Luogu Alley with little shops and restaurants. It’s fun for people watching and random stuff they’re selling. Speaking of random stuff I keep seeing people wearing this plant hair clips. I post a poll to facebook if I should get in on it.
I’m back at the lake. There’s a bunch of bars and restaurants around. Some are Asian themed, some more modern but most have a live band, usually a trio with a female singer.