Although Li Yanxing mentioned that when her son Du Jialin 杜佳临 went to visit Xiao Pangu and identified himself, the government and the developer were overjoyed at finding a Zhou but I suspected the government treated me well was due to the courtesy extended to Chris and George – once again thanks. The Yangzhou city gov a car to pick me up at the Zhenjiang rail station. The grumpy driver Mr. Zhao couldn’t find me because he’s never been to the station and didn’t know where I was. When we finally rendezvous at KFC, he said nothing and just drove off.
Did I get into the right car or kidnapper’s?? .. indeed crossed my mind. But soon I began to see road signs and then we glided on the Runyang Bridge 润扬大桥 after about 10 minutes from the train station, the 36th bridge that cross Changjiang River 长江, the toll was CNY 25 (about US$3.75).
Yangzhou is home town to Jiang Zeming. This billboard stands in front of the toll booth (cost another CNY 25).
Lunch was at Wan Shun hotel (Qian Long yu shan fang 乾隆御膳坊). It was very quiet, neither hotel guests nor diners were around as we were entering. We were immediately led to the private room with its own bathroom, and a single table with six settings. There was a side door which was used for serving.
Lady Deng, the director of Foreign Affairs Office of Yangzhou came few minutes later. The lunch was just the four of us, grouchy Zhao and Caroline. I was actually worried how to sail through the meal without working too hard. But once I saw Deng I knew it’s going to be a piece of cake. Which it was. She was very chatty and none stop soft selling Yangzhou. She rattled off string of numbers and facts all the while maintaining her pleasant demeanor and warm smile. I thought about my Mom whom by all accounts, was sociable and the heart of any gathering. Mr. Zhao and Caroline said little which is norm in the presence of their boss. Caroline checked her cell phone often. The meal was very delicious. There was 大丰收 bumper harvest or something, it contains corn, sweet yum, peanuts and pumpkin – all tubers, just simply boiled and served in a bowl. It reminded me of the Marlboro man, rugged and earthy. Hmmmmm … I think I just found something different for my Thanksgiving’s table this year. Someone told me that there two kinds of Harvest: Hot or Warm (liked the one I had) and Cold, which includes radishes, etc.
Couple of times I attempted to bring up Xiao Pangu but Lady Deng always skillfully steered me away.
Toward the end of the meal, our conversation drafted to her son, who’s a dissertation short of a PhD from an American university. His health has not been great and now he works in Beijing which is closer. Although they don’t see each other often but being couple of hours plane ride away, it just gives her so much more peace of mind.
After lunch, Deng had another meeting to attend. She
instructed suggested that I should visit few more sites before heading back to Shanghai. We stopped first at Shinny West Lake 瘦西湖 where we took a picture. She went off to her business and Caroline and I went to sightseeing with Mr. Zhao trailing around.