A mid-morning break

The Family and I do not pass up a chance to have a chai wherever we go. In a little village 2 Kilometers above sea level we spotted a restaurant and headed there. Yes, chai was available, and there were biscuits to be had as well. The Young Niece couldn’t stop smiling at the idea of biscuits after a kilometer long walk. After we sat down I took a photo of our host making tea (below). Nice shop; clean, large windows to let in a lot of light, and uncluttered. There was lunch cooking, so there must be villagers who come here for lunch. This was the end of a long road, and I couldn’t imagine people climbing all the way up here to eat.

A very serious card game was in progress. Two kibitzers were in evidence (one outside the window). After a hand was played, the old man came in to give his opinion. The players took it all in their stride. The next hand was dealt out in silence, and the game resumed. Mountain men are known to be less than garrulous, and the four players were no exception. We finished our tea and biscuits in companionable silence and left.

Games are serious

Tourist guides tell you to visit Xintiandi in Shanghai. This Xintiandi is full of well-preserved and tastefully renovated Shikumen buildings repurposed into restaurants, coffee shops, up-market shops and bars. When you walk through this you see the beautiful people of Shanghai and foreigners. All very posh, but exactly like any other town center in Europe. Why travel to China if all you want to see is Europe?


The Lilongs on the other side of Xintiandi are more interesting for a tourist with a camera. During my visit I saw two places where crowds had gathered. I nosed in, and saw a very serious card game in progress (photo above). In case you think this drinking and gambling is a man’s thing, think again. The next game had two women!

Luck is serious business in China. I’m told that the colour red is important because it is lucky, and not because it is beautiful.