Today was a little more low key. This morning we went to SooChow University in Suzhou. We saw a whole new side of this city...key word NEW. The other areas of this big city were older and had all of the old temples and gardens and crazy shopping areas. The east side of this city is modern and houses several Universities, and many big foreign business headquarters. These pictures are of BingLing Library which was funded by Mr Tang. BingLing is his father's name, and it was quite an impressive building. 8 levels, and the outside shape is supposed to resemble a Lotus flower.
We went with Dr. Joung, a chinese physician that is a friend of Mr. Tang from Beijing. He had never seen this library, either, so we were sent together. He tried his best to translate and he was a darling, smiley man. (you can see why people stare so much at Danny-he is huge next to Dr Joung)
We also got to see Mr. Tang's corporate office in Suzhou, it was housed in a nice big corporate office building. One of the girls from the office got to come translate for us and take us to Jinji Lake. There were all sorts of new offices, shopping and restaurants all around it. There was a nice park and a walkway around the shoreline. It was quite an overcast day (still warm and muggy) so it is hard to see the coast line across from us. There were two islands, and we took a boat to one of them. It was beautifully landscaped, there was a modern pagoda and a nice tea house. We did think we got left on the island without a way back because no one could speak english, but we made it back.
Because there are so many foreign businesses here, they had all sorts of restaurants (that weren't chinese) We picked mexican because my brother was just in Mexico City and it made us crave tortillas and black beans. We were so excited that the waitress spoke some english, there were some americans behind us, the menu was in chinese and english-AND she offered us ice in our diet coke. (We haven't seen much ice OR diet) The other great thing about it was they had WHITE MEAT in our chicken burritos-another first. We decided we needed to give kudos to all those of you that served foreign missions and lived for more than a week without some of the comforts of home. Our hats are off to you because after one week we were feeling deprived! Isn't that pathetic? After we finished eating, we were so excited there was a cold stone creamery nearby. Even though the prices were outrageous, it was worth every spoonful! I think after the fermented glutinous rice balls, we deserved some tex-mex, right?