Confusian guide to Lazy Susan etiquette

Confusian guide to Lazy Susan etiquette
Suzhou, China

Suzhou, China


Visited the Confusian temple in Nanjing this morning. The temple itself is dominated by a giant statue of the man himself and is certainly worth a visit. However, the best feature is its setting by a canal. There is a fabulous bridge there and some outdoor cafes where you can have a reviving iced tea and watch the world go by. A very short walk from the temple are a maze of small lanes and alleyways full of the usual tourist tat at knock down prices. For afficianados of Pee Pee boys you will be releaved that they are available together with more copies of the thoughts of Chairman M, assorted fans, fake jade and the obligatory “100% silk” pillow cases. DVDs and limited games and software can be found one street behind in the main drag for 10 Yuan a disk. We then had a dire ‘tour group’ lunch. A word on Lazy Susan etiquette. Elly and I have now had over 12 meals from Lazy Susans (the dreaded revolving platters where all the food is put for the diners to share). Being British a strict anti-clockwise rotation is favoured and the food moves in a sedate and orderly fashion. This is quite normal because most the food is so average that no one wants to load their plate. However, should a hint of shellfish or sweet and sour pork appear then the turntable speeds up so fast that the overhanging spoons clink the beer glasses and it sounds like wind chimes in a hurricane. But on no account should you remove the plate from the table and shovel the food into your bowl, the secret is to offer the dullest member of the party the cold pork in egg white or whatever will ensure the best plate is opposite you and then attack it with your soup spoon as if it were a backhoe at an Olympic construction site. Then took the train to Suzhou. We were in soft seats, first class to you or I, but there are no classes on Chinese railways for fairly predictable reasons. Fast comfortable and clean, we arrived on time in Suzhou two hours later. Yet more building works but they are preparing for the Shanghai Expo in 2010 and are enlarging the station just in case. That’s what I call forward planning. Stayed at the Bamboo Grove Hotel. The worst of the trip, small rooms with beds so firm the floor may have been softer. Good happy hour at the bar but that’s all I can report. Look elsewhere.


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