Great to be reunited with wife & daughter! And the kids were really happy to see each other too. We left Hangzhou airport at three p.m. and went home to my in-laws, where I napped and then had dinner. Fried ribbon fish, soy beans in the pod boiled with salt, spinach with garlic, taro in pork broth, egg plant with soy sauce, rice. Did jigsaw puzzles with my daughter, put the kids to bed, retired for some quality time with my lovely wife at half past eight and soon fell asleep -- only to wake at little past three in the morning. So here I am, drinking tea, having a rou baozi (a wheat bun filled with ground pork) and a moon cake, reading Addison's vignettes about Roger de Coverley.
Outside there's a tremendous racket from trucks on the road and trains passing by, hooting like an orchestral brass section at each other. And on the other side of tracks are the homes of the poor at the feet of the wooded hills south of the West Lake. I hiked up there a few years back, discovering overgrown necropoli and a number of Buddhist shrines.
(Thursday 9 November 04:40).