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The pace was significantly slower at the Giles residence on the Saturday morning so I took the opportunity to repack my chaotic suitcase. My only mission for the day was to find a place that could wrangle my wayward hair! Edward emerged and kindly played the Energy In Energy Out card game with me and gave me some great feedback and suggestions for improvement. Smart cookie! (no pun intended)

Eventually we ventured out into the damp streets of Suzhou. Russ took me on the e-bike to a super dooper supermarket. It was like hunting and gathering as we worked up a sweat traversing endless aisles and dodging other shoppers to find the food and grocery items we needed. The place must have been half a kilometre across!

Super Dooper Market Wide

Shoppers Hunting and Gathering

Super Dooper Market Wide2Super Fish Market

Super Russ at Peking Stand

Russ at the Peking Duck Counter


Oodles of Noodles

Chicken Feet

Chicken Feet – Yummy!

Detergent AisleGrains and LegumesOnce we had everything we needed, we fronted up to one of the 110 check outs to pay for our goods. The sheer scale was incredible!

Super 110 Checkouts

110 Checkouts!

We headed back to the hood to connect back up with Mary and the boys who had made their way over to a favourite local Japanese restaurant. Mary ordered up a storm which gave me a chance to sample all sorts of Chinese style Japanese food. Very tasty and wholesome.Family JapaneseOver lunch, the idea of a massage came up, so we waved David and Edward off to their Mandarin class and Russ drove the e-bike while Mary and I both hobbled around the corner to the local massage salon. Russ went in for a foot massage and, after a great deal of effort and stair climbing, Mary and I were installed, side by side and face down in a quiet dark room awaiting our punishment. The door opened and two lovely male voices asked permission to begin. Mary confirmed and it was on. I opted for the strong version and the thumbs went in hard. It was heavenly!

Next stop the swanky Mentor Hair Salon where Mary introduced me to her hair care team. Mary left me to it so I had to describe the hair style I wanted to the lovely ‘Harry’ using only smiles, hand gestures and thumbs up signs. A new experience and a great outcome. I found my way back to the apartment (an old hand now) and we sat on the balcony watching the sun go down and the neon come up on all the high rise buildings around the park.

Suzhou View left

View from the Balcony

Suzhou View rightFootnote: I was surprised to find that most public and shopping precinct toilets were of the squat variety which was a challenge with a bung knee – to say nothing of the non-provision of toilet paper. Phew! Glad I stashed that wad of tissues in my coat pocket. Be warned Ladies!

Squat Toilet

The Dreaded Grotty Squatty!

As night set in, Russ made us all a delicious stir fry dinner and then David, Edward and I got stuck into a rousing game of the Calibrate card game. I drew a Chance card that had me doing push ups and star jumps to the great amusement of the boys, while Edward bravely dealt with a handful of junk food with no exercise cards in sight. We were all laughing and calculating madly and, once again, the suggestions for improvement were very constructive. Thanks boys! We finished the game and Russ ushered the boys off to bed. Mary was long asleep as Russ and I solved the problems of the world well into the night.