Friday, November 9, 2012

Pizza and Shopping with Friends

It was a dark and stormy night...well, not quite.  It was a drizzly, cold, it was still morning when the story begins...It was a drizzly, cold morning...that's a bit better...Anyhow, Micah had invited Kevin and me to meet up at Papa John's for lunch, and I called Tammy and invited her along. The plan was to leave at eleven to take the bus, but of course I was running late, and then we had a bit of a mix up when Micah was waiting for me at one gate and I was waiting for him at the other.  On a side note, he's already caught on to my tendency to run late; he says we're going on Katy-time. He's also realized he should tell me to be somewhere ten minutes before I'm really needed. I really have improved some, though--I have got myself in the habit of being to all my classes ten to fifteen minutes early.  But meeting friends at a specific time still eludes me.  Especially before noon.

Anyhow, we finally did get on a bus and we did finally arrive at Guanggu.  Across the roundabout from the mall is, well, another mall--this one has H&M and C&A (some of my favorite European clothing stores), as well as a Papa John's.  I had brilliantly forgotten my umbrella yet again, so I wore my scarf Muslim-style (it seems somehow derogatory to put it like that, but I'm not sure how else to describe it).  Micah tried to share his umbrella, but it wasn't a large one and it's difficult winding through a crowd, up and down two flights of stairs.  Fortunately it was only a steady drizzle at this point.

We found Tammy easily at the entrance to Papa John's, and Kevin came in just a few minutes later.  We ran into Matt and Autumn Moore, who just happened to be there that day, too.  The food was pretty good--they do have the garlic-butter sauce here, and we orderd a bunch of it to drown everything in.  Another nice thing about both Papa John's and Pizza Hut here is that it's a regular thing to order pizzas half and half; they even advertise doing it.  So, we got a large pizza half Chicken-bacon-ranch, half Supreme.  We got a small half Italian sausage, half vegeterian.  It was nice to try several different things; I wouldn't have ordered the Chicken-bacon-ranch just for myself, but it turned out to be really good, and I'll definitely order it in the future.  Tammy also pointed out some fine print in the menu which offered free refills on drinks, so we all got coke; we bugged the waitress for refills of the small glasses they tend to use here so many times she just brought the pitcher and left it on the table.

Kevin had to leave for a meeting right after we ate, but Micah, Tammy, and I stayed and shopped for a while.  Micah shopped seriously; Tammy and I are built very differently from Chinese women and thus can't really buy clothes, but we looked at shoes, scarves, hats, and bags, and partook in my favorite shopping activity when I can't fit into the clothes being offered--making fun of ridiculous things.  Chinese fashions being a bit different from American, there's always plenty of material.  Yellow snakeskin leggings?  Bright orange slacks for men?  Green, purple, and orange patterned sweater (for men!) that American men would only wear to one of those most-horrific-holiday-sweater parties (even though it wasn't holiday)?

Tammy had already bought a pair of shoes before we met up with her, and while we were in H&M I found a pair of yellow tennis shoes (men's, but they don't look masculine) on clearance for only 70 yuan (ten dollars ish), and a white toboggan for only 30 (five dollars ish).  Tammy's shoes were also mens; Chinese women tend to have smaller feet on average than Americans, so anyone who wears a nine or above in America often has a hard time finding women's shoes; fortunately, many of the men's shoes are pretty androgenous, so on occasion you find something wearable.

We then went up to C&A; they had tons of great scarves, but I have to limit myself--I already have more scarves than any one person really needs.  It's a bit of an addiction.  Micah tried on jackets, while Tammy and I drifted between giving him our opinion and being blinded by a display of women's sweaters and jackets in violent shades of construction-cone orange and not-quite-ripe lemon.  With a bit of purple mixed in.  As we wandered up by the register, we hit the jackpot--they've murdered cookie monster, big bird, and some orange muppet and made bags!

We headed home soon after; it was too rainy to stay outdoors, Micah announced he was shopped out, and I needed to get back to get everything ready for the evening's English party.


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