Tuesday we had leftovers for breakfast (around 11:30). This consisted of noodles with vegetables and fried rice. It was quite tasty, but it's not exactly what I usually think of as breakfast food. After breakfast we headed out for a walk in the park.
We drove to Assiniboine Park, and went for a walk through the english garden. Wide brick and grass paths between dense plantings. The plantings were heavy on the herbs, which made the whole garden smell lovely in the heat. At the far end of the english garden was naked ladies. Well, at least bronze sculptures of naked women. It's the Leo Mol sculpture garden.
Many of the sculptures in the garden were quite impressive. They are mostly life size of larger, and there are several of Taras Shevchenko, who apparently was a poet. zestyping
figures he was just famous for being really dramatic, and having the largest forehead around. The sculptures of the men were quite detailed. A lot of attention was paid to faces and postures and even clothing. The women, on the other hand, were almost all nude, and almost all had very bland, unexpressive faces. Beautiful bodies, but no detail in the faces at all. The one exception was a bust of an exotic-looking woman. She looked haughty and proud, and had far more detail in the face than anywhere else. I liked that one.
After the park we decided to try to hunt down Ping's friend Christopher, and his wife Tina. We couldn't get ahold of them on the cell, but we knew that they were at the mall, so we figured we just walk through and see if we could spot them. Ping showed me a picture of them, and we wandered down the middle, peering into shops. After the initial pass I got Ping to call Christopher's parents, who informed him that they were probably clothes shopping. Armed with this new information we went into the nearest department store, and walked towards the men's clothing department. There I spotted two people standing at a checkout counter that at least looked somewhat like the picture I'd seen. I pointed them out to Ping, and indeed it was them.
After exuberant greetings we all went off to have coffee and chat. After a while Tina went off to buy "beaver jumpers" as gifts, and when she got back we all went off so that Christopher and Tina could buy iPods. That was a long, drawn-out process. They ended up buying a 60 gig black, and a 1 gig nano. And a lot of accessories. Too much shopping. Tina and Christopher had to go off for a family dinner, so we left them and went off to see what we could find at Folklorama.
Our first stop was the Indian pavilion. There was fairly good food- mediocre naan, but fairly good bean and vegetable dishes. The dancing and music was quite enjoyable. It was very high energy and bouncy. The costumes were very elaborate, and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves. For dessert I introduced Ping to gulab jamens. Milk balls cooked in a honey syrup. I hardly ever eat them, since they're ridiculously sweet, but I felt compelled to get Ping to try them. After the dancing was over we went downstairs to look at the "cultural display". I got to learn about the area of India called Kerala, and about a new food called channa.
Off to the Brazilian pavilion. We got there to see that there was a three block line. We decided to wait for a little and see how fast the line was moving. It soon became obvious that the performance was full, and the next performance wasn't until after we were supposed to be back at Ping's parents' house. No capoeira for us.
Back at the house Ping's mom taught us how to play mahjong. These lessons started with her telling me that I needed to learn the Chinese words for all the characters. So I spent the next half hour or so learning to recognize the symbols for the 4 directions (east, south, north, west), the names of the suits, the special symbols, and relearning the numbers. I probably butcher the pronunciation, but at least I can remember the words now. After that Ping's mom taught us how to set up the tiles, the elaborate rules for drawing, and some of the scoring rules. There are a lot of scoring rules, and I'm still not clear on most of them. We played for a couple hours, and by the end I was finally managing to win some. I have decided I need to own my own mahjong set.
After the game Ping checked his email, and discovered that he had work that had to be done right away. His laptop had been accidentally left in Christopher's car, so he borrowed mine, and I amused myself with puzzles, and then fell asleep. When Ping finished with programming he woke me up, and we got to talking about languages (I blame the earlier Chinese lesson). We started talking about Italian, and eventually we looked for Italian web pages. This brought us to the Rosetta Stone website, where we discovered that they have a free trial version. We were up ridiculously late playing with that. I may need to own that too. Sigh.
Today we left for the cabin. We've been on the road for the last 3 hours, including a stop at a roadside cafe where we had fries covered in cheese and gravy. We're almost to the cabin. Soon, soon, we will be lazy, go swimming, and eat too much. Oh, wait, I've been doing a lot of that this summer already.