Sunday I wanted to get out, so I packed a bag and took the bus down to Suzhou. During the 30 minute voyage, I had a Moon Cake filled with red bean paste for a snack and read my Journey to the West book, the classic Chinese saga about the Monkey King.

moon cakes and monkey kings

Moon Cakes are everywhere lately. Around this time of year is the Moon Cake festival, or the Mid-Autumn festival. It celebrates the Chinese legend about the moon. As far as I can grasp it, I think it’s about a moon goddess who falls in love with a human man, then as these love stories go, she must tragically fly back to the moon and leave him. Somewhere there is a magic Jade Rabbit involved. Kind of a step up from the moon being made of cheese.

When I got to Suzhou I got a little bit lost, but eventually found my favorite little expat bar, sweating a bit from lugging my backpack all over town. The Bookworm has quickly become my favorite refuge, with a semi-decent veggie burger (a blackbean patty that almost doesn’t fall apart as you eat it), and walls full of books and a calander full of creative type events. I hung out there the whole day working on lesson plans and procrastinating from working on lesson plans.

Spent Sunday at the Bookworm in Suzhou
Doing work for my classes at the Bookworm on Sunday

By the time I got home, it was high time for a snack, which is why I love the street grillers that open up after dark. You pick your raw meat or veggies on a stick, most less than 1 rmb (that’s about 7 cents y’all), and they grill them up for you; probably with some risk to one’s internal organs but would I even be here if I weren’t a risk taker???

Late night snack
(trust me, it wouldn’t taste as good if everyone and his mother didn’t put their hands all over the food)

Late night snack
Late night snack
(that’s right, a huge selection of tofu and veggies– drool with me, fellow vegetarians!)

I joined my family on the other side of the world for a skype brunch party:

(photo courtesy of mom)

And if that wasn’t a perfect enough ending to a day, when I got home I met the newest addition to our foreign family: Whiskey Blue! Prepare for the puppy porn parade:

Whiskey naps
Whiskey naps
Whiskey Blue, I love you.
Whiskey butt

Yes, he is just as downy and fluffy and sweet as he looks. I think he might actually be part teddy bear but would have to look into his pedigree chart.