PART239 swimming with friendly


Thursday, 23rd, September, 2010.
We went swimming in the afternoon with Friendly, the chief from the engagement
party we met before. Himself, his wife and son came and picket us up in their
car and we drove to the Communist training centre with all its hotels and hot
springs. We arrived and Friendly drove us to the hotel canals which had massive
Tibetan dogs with shaggy mains like lions. They were truly the biggest dogs I
have ever seen. They were in big prison like metal cages and although bored
they looked well kept. They cost a fortune and I suppose treated better than
the hot pot dogs. After that we went to the biggest hotel in the area, the
swimming pool had fake trees and tropical foliage around the small clean
swimming pool and it reminded me of the sort of bright colored Disney like fake
trees and houses one might find in the back garden of a pub in England, glazed
fiberglass plastic. It was almost empty and I was glad to see it didn’t have
the dark yellow urine stains in the changing rooms; there were even fake leather
sofas in the changing rooms. We had a paddle and I get tired quickly, Its
interesting how when you’re not used to doing one form of exercise you have no
endurance for it. For instance if a weight lifter tried to run a marathon. I
suppose we train our muscles for different tasks and swimming is one task I
have not practiced much. Friendly and his wife both looked tired and I learned
that he had been up all of last night until 6 in the morning drinking with his
friends and his wife was just recovering from a fever and there have a very
active and attention seeking son. After the swim while we were waiting in the
hotel lobby for no particular reason (waiting around for nothing is a big part
of being in China I have found) I did some sparring with Friendly’s son who is
only 9 years old I think. He managed to kick me in the knee which bloody hurt
and set off what has been a brooding ach into a full scale one. The air was
cold when I got out of the pool and walking on the cold floor made my knees
creaky. On the way back on our way to have some dinner Friendly’s son was
acting up tried to grab my wily, he licked me and then slapped me in the face.
If he had tried that sort of stunt back when I was a teacher I would have had a
field day but instead I pushed the rage deep deep down until I forgot it was
there.

 

We went to a fish hot pot restaurant, it
was 9:00 and the waitresses where clearing away the last bowls and plates,
Friendly went to talk to the chief and they laughed and patted each other on
the back and the chief went back down to the underground kitchen “The chief is
my friend, he will cook us special fish not on the menu, I taught him how to
cook it!” Friendly said proudly. It seems that friendly has friends everywhere,
he even knew the head chief at the big hotel with the swimming pool which was
how we got in without paying. As the thin slices of fish where placed around
the big black wok full of boiling soup on the table and as Friendly waxed
lyrical about how Northern Chinese don’t know how to cook this fish properly “
they just get a big plateful and dump it into the hot pot all at once and leave
it to cook until its very dry and overcooked’ He said passionately “you must
only put the fish in for 30 seconds at most so it’s only just cooked”, Friendly
served the whole meal and I never had to reach out to get anything, everything
from the fish to the lettuce, sweet corn cake and wine was placed in front of
me. It pays to have a chief as a friend I thought to myself.

 

There was another alternative reason for
going out with Friendly and that was because Sarah wants to learn how to cook
and she thought that why not ask the person who is the head chief at the most
expensive hotel restaurant in town. He was very pleased to offer Sarah a job as
a abalone princess, which means she will learn how to cook sea food and get
paid for it as well!. She was not expecting this and was ecstatic all night
long. It was contagious and even when Friendly’s son poked a waitress in the
eye I didn’t descend into the death rage. Friendlies wife and son went home
when the petulant child began to scream himself purple because he was so tired
and we where thankfully left without child and Friendly became more cheerful
and jokey. We heard a verbal fight going on outside our privet room and a
minute later the disturbing howls and whales of a distraught woman crying in the
room next to us.

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