On Thursday, my back was much improved. We returned to the Gu’an preschool. We had no meetings that day. We discovered that Friday would be a very important day, and the staff was focused on preparing for it.
Food, Glorious Food: For breakfast we had a hard boiled egg, shredded tofu, a bun filled with bean paste, and warm water. Our lunch was long beans and mushrooms, chicken with eggs and cilantro, rice balls stuffed with chicken, rice with beans, long, wide noodles, and a green vegetable. Our snack was half a melon, and a dozen cookies.
The headmistress and I did our best to communicate. She said, “Beijing, tomorrow tomorrow.” I took that to mean that we would be going to Beijing on Saturday. The we joined the English teachers and interns for a photo.
NIck and I made plans to have dinner with Julian and Eric. There was one complication: we had trouble getting a cab. I was about to let Nick, Eric and Julian walk to the mall without me, because i knew that the walk would put too much stress on my back. The men waited until a cab arrived.
I don’t think I ever explained that Julian is a vegetarian, so we were always careful to order enough seafood and vegetables. We (with Eric doing the ordering) ordered sweet and sour fish, cold eggplant with garlic sauce, lamb skewers, tofu skewers with fish seasoning, and eggplant skewers. Then Eric asked if we would consider ordering more Peking duck. I said, “Why not? You can bring back the leftovers.”
A chef brought out our bronzed duck and began to slice and present it: one platter of crispy skin, one platter of succulent meat with skin, and one platter of meat without skin. There were very thin pancakes and hoisin sauce as usual, but in addition to the cucumber and scallions the third condiment was sugar. The duck, being absolutely flavorful and delicious, exceeded all our expectations.
Then the chef took away the carcass. When we thought it was impossible to eat any more, the carcass, which had been seasoned and fried, was returned. We devoured all the meat that was on it and probably some of the bones. This was definitely the best Peking duck we had ever eaten, and one of the best meals we had ever eaten, anywhere. There were no leftovers. The total cost for the four of us was $52.
I left my Fitbit in the charger so I have no idea how many steps I took.