I’d tell you that I found another Cat Cafe in Shouguang. This one was livelier in terms of both cats and customers. I shouldn’t have had coffee though. They did not have decaf and the only thing I can order with confidence is mei shi, (Americano). It kept me up, so I saw both the sunset (through a gap created by buildings that were demolished during my stay)
The Chinese like what they call re nao (“ruh now” is more or less the pronunciation) which means “hot noise”. It can be translated as hustle and bustle, but sometimes that translation seems lame. Even on normal nights there is quite a bit more light than there is in my relativity quiet neighborhood in Seattle. Restaurants will also pipe out music and messages to try and draw people in. In my neighborhood there is one restaurant that pipes soft jazz to the sidewalk.
But both last night and this morning there were promotional activities nearby that make that pale in comparison. Strobe lights so bright they were blinding combined with highly amplified music at a performance last night and fireworks, a lot of them, going off this morning.
It was both deafening and blinding for me,yet people seemed to be loving it. Maybe there are people at home who wouldn’t find it so overwhelming, so I shouldn’t project it as a cultural norm that Chinese people like re nao and Americans don’t, after all many people do go to rock concerts.
Doing the time warp again: Now I am in the place and time between. A quiet and uneventful bus ride to the Qingdao airport passing through some of Shandong’s countryside with gentle autumn light was an antidote to the war zone noises of this morning. Shandong Province is the fruit and vegetable basket of China and there is a lot of farmland growing a wide variety of crops in strips and greenhouses.
Tomorrow I have a magic morning. My plane leaves Qingdao airport at 7:25 am and I arrive at Seatac at 7:23 am. Does that make me two minutes younger than when I leave?
Have a good week, whatever your time zone.