This one is going to be short. It's all of 8:30pm, and I'm exhausted.
I started the day wandering by my hotel alone, going down neat alleyways into fun shops… then Simon called and we went out. I don't remember what it was called, but it was a fun shopping area, where there aren't cars or scooters on the street, so you can go without being killed. Fun stuff. I bought some Suzhou candy—it looks like pepperoni, but tastes like a crunchy-ish fruit rollup. It has so much sugar in it, I ate two and was okay, and it comes with a lot. Simon paid for his handmade new coat, and I picked one out. More later. We ate lunch at a noodle place, where I had udon vegetable soup, and ate the soup with chopsticks. I'm starting to get okay at it, as long as someone shows me a trick for the slippery foods.
Then we went to a place called Thousand Year Road (I think), which is like the oldest part of Suzhou. It was neat. There used to be a big wall surrounding the city, and there's still a portion left of it—the gate part. I got to see that from a distance. I think you can go closer but we didn't this time. I got a drink that was like a Lipton green tea, but it was obviously a Chinese brand, and it was chrysanthemum tea. It was awesome. Then we (Simon and I) met up with Tyler who had just come in from Beijing. We ate dinner at a hot pot place, where they cook broth at your table and you dip in things and cook them just a bit then eat them. The chopsticks were longer at this place, so you didn't burn your hands over the steam of the broth. Oh, I had my very first encounter with *real* China toilets. Ken, if you're reading this, I totally thought of you and the squatty potty :-)
It was freezing by the time we left, so we grabbed a cab back to the first area that Simon and I shopped at, so he could pick up his coat. I got measured for a coat, and am having it made. It's a sort of mix between a pea and a trench coat, really cute, so dark grey it's nearly black, with a kind of brown lining. It's going to have a cotton lining in the middle to make it warmer. Oh, the outside is wool, the inside is silk, it's handmade, and it cost me about $100. So exciting. Then we all left home. Well, Tyler and I rode together cause we stay in the same hotel.
The end. I'm tired. I'm trying to send some pictures with this one. I hope it works. Leann, I'm also emailing you the pictures so that if it doesn't post, you can just go ahead and add them.