Various and Sundry…

As March inexorably marches towards its finish, there isn’t much to report since I returned from my vacation.  Still, I’ve managed to take some photos from a couple of events that I think people back home may find interesting. The first event was a wine tasting at a hotel restaurant. I went with my friend,Sarah and as neither of us speaks or understands Mandarin, and, therefore, unable to follow the wine expert doing the talking, all we could do was drink and eat, all out of context. Oh well… somehow, we managed, despite the language barrier.

We then went to a favorite watering hole just across from the City Wall, not surprisingly called The Near Wall Bar. I took some photos walking back to the subway, as the area was lit up more than usual, in honor of the recent Chinese New Year.

The other event was walking home from dinner at the Westin hotel in Qujiang, the upscale area of town where I live, with my friend Azara. As you’ll see, the riot of light and color at night was simply too irresistible not to photograph.  Along the way, we stumbled upon a German beer garden and given that, we simply had to partake. Oddly, there are more than a few German “biergartens” in Xi’an. I’m not sure why, exactly, but they all seem to have the same food and drink items. I smell a communist conspiracy!

On the horizon, my new, least favorite month of the year, April, is looming. For those who are new to my blog, April, 2015 is the date that my partner, Ellen died. April has been a somewhat fraught month for me these last couple of years.  I’ll no doubt write some more about this, in April. The distance of time does help somewhat but the anniversary of this sad occasion has been quite emotional for me.

Apparently, the Xi’an authorities have granted me another year to stay and work. I haven’t gotten my new work visa but I’ve been assured that I’ve been approved to stay. I signed a new contract with my employer so I suppose that pretty much confirms I’ll be here at least through April, 2019. I certainly don’t see any reason to return to America. It just seems to keep getting crazier and crazier.

Wine tasting. We tried various European wines. Oddly, one of them was a mystery wine as there was nothing on the label to suggest what was inside the bottle. The wine expert who was talking to everyone didn’t speak any English, so we had no idea of what was being said but the owner, who does speak English filled us in.

This is Della. She owns the restaurant where the wine tasting took place. She speaks excellent English. She also owns a bakery and the bread served was the best I’ve had since coming to China. Bread really isn’t “a thing” in this culture. Not yet, anyway.

My friend, Sarah, who was kind enough to invite me.

Wine “nibblies.”

The City Wall, lit up for Chinese New Year

After dinner at the Westin, Azara and I walked home along the main drag. It was it all lit up, with lots of activity, so I decided to make it a “photo-op.”

Absolutely no idea of this. Mars?

This very long street has a large median running down the middle that is one, very long plaza with traffic running down both sides. There are fountains, topiaries, statues and on this night, live music.

 

“Prost!”

Our lovely waitress, Frau Blücher, liked us enough to give us a 50 rmb voucher for next time.

“Beer is proof that god loves us and wants to see us happy.” (certain restrictions may apply)

 

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