China – Shopping and Travel

Earlier in the trip I wrote about how the “shopping parts” of the tour were the ones most likely to divide the men and the women of our group, including the jade factory, the silk factory, and the copper art works. But even if the blokes weren’t all that interested in the finished product, there was still something about manufacturing which was enough to keep the men interested. That wasn’t the case at today’s visit to the pearl factory. Once the oyster shell had been opened and we had seen the contents, the eyes of virtually every bloke in the room glazed over.

A few of us were outside as quickly as we could be, having feigned an interest for a suitable period of time. I walked with a couple of blokes around the corner where we stood and watched a television commercial being filmed. The only thing we know about what was happening was that it was a television commercial, with absolutely no idea what it was about. All we saw was a couple of people in white lab coats standing outside an environmental monitoring agency truck, and with a young girl on a bicycle riding past saying “hi”. I don’t think we made it into any of the shots, but you never know.

After the pearl factory, we visited a nearby wetland (which was lovely) and even got to hang out with a handful of locals practising their ballroom dancing.

An hour or so later and we were in Hangzhou, where we took a cruise around the lake and visited the really lovely nearby park.