I order the most ridiculous meal 

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.  

  
The waiter brings out a tofu dish and while tofu is not my favorite I start eating. There’s a little spice to it but the mint and tomato help. 

  
I’m not even done and the waiter brings out a green salad. It has ginger in it and I really like it. The waiter returns again with another dish– mushrooms, which are salty but also good. 

  
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?!

  

  
The waiter is back again to present me with a whole fish. They are not messing around here. 

 
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. 

  
Also are ocarinas actual instruments? I only know it from The Legand of Zelda series. Regardless there’s a shop for that. The employee stands by the door playing songs. 

   
 I end up getting a forest berry drink. Again, after ordering I wonder about the quality. Clearly not meant to travel in countries where water makes you sick. 

   

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.  

   
There’s a few men fishing on the edge of the lake. 

   
This group was playing a serious game of hacky sack but instead of a ball it looked more like a shuttle cock from badminton. 

  
   
    
 
I continue into the second lake that connects with the first. Most of it seems like park land and I take my tired feet back to the hostel. Good night Beijing. 

   
 

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4 Comments

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  1. The meal looks delicious! Hope you didn’t get sick because of the water.

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  2. I’m glad you opted for buying the plant clip. It will increase the quality of your selfies! Just imagine looking back at those pictures years from now.

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  3. I don’t think you’ll get sick from eating vegetables that were washed (like salad) or drinks that come from restaurants like your drink looked like some sort of Starbucks-like place. If you want to play it safe though, always ask for no ice and asking for anything bottled!

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