June 11th, Saturday
On the bus this morning a very young Chinese child with his grandparents, who had spotted us at the bus station, tried out his English (“Good-morning-how-are-you?”) and sang to us on the bus:
|Barge on the canal|
|The Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal ... in Hangzhou!|
|Low in the water|
At the lakeside kiosks you can pay for a photo of yourself wearing satiny dressing-up clothes and twirling a parasol. Men sit outside them calling out for customers and sample photos decorate the outside walls of these huts which also sell coconuts, windmills (in the shape of flowers and butterflies), ice cream, popcorn, bird whistles, plastic frogs that make a croaking noise and blow bubbles for children to play with, pot noodles, fans and scarves. Then on to the bus for a rattly ride back here so that Chris could do some more work on his priority inversion techniques.
He took a break this evening to take me down to the hotel bar where I ordered a Cosmopolitan Martini cocktail which came decorated with lemon peel on the rim of the glass, twisted into a bow. The pretty girls in their slinky long black and golden outfits followed a recipe to prepare it (shaken, not stirred). As we sat on a velvet settee to have our drinks, nibbling our salted walnuts and cashews rolled in herbs, we watched the coloured lights change and the lifts slide up and down the lift shaft as he told me how priority inversion had affected the Mars Rover project because of a flaw in the programming. It seems he's pretty excited about his work here.