Monday, October 01, 2007
Hangin' in Hangzhou
Mat's work occasionally takes him to Hangzhou in China (he's been once before), where his company has an office. With Round 3 of cancer getting started, I decided there's no time like the present. With less than three weeks to go before his long-planned trip, I bought my ticket and applied for a visa.
It was ... an interesting vacation. A little more stressful than relaxing, but a great trip nonetheless. Mat took a Friday off from working to spend the day sightseeing with me, and he also had a free weekend that we spent with Mat's friends from the office and at company events.
Hangzhou is a beautiful city -- largely unknown to Americans, but with a population of about 6.5 million. We stayed in a nice hotel on a beautiful lake, where we spent every evening walking and watching dragon boats, karaoke, and concerts. Mat's co-workers took very good care of us. They found an English-speaking guide to show us around on Friday, spent the day with us in a touristy shopping district on Saturday, and included us in their Moon Festival celebration on Sunday.
Most importantly, the trip was a great diversion. There's nothing quite like a fresh-cooked chicken head in the middle of your plate to distract you from life's other problems.