Thursday, May 14, 2009

Of Hills of Tigers

I think I could have slept forever today. This bed is getting oddly comfortable even though it's pretty much a thin fabric on wood. My roommates left this morning at around 8 to catch a 9 am train so it was different to wake up later in the day to an empty room (except for myself of course). It was also quite nice to be able to get changed in the room without fear of someone walking in. People usually arrive in the late afternoon so there was no real worries in the morning.

I finally crawled out of bed at 10 because I wanted my eggs and breakfast foods stop getting cooked at 10.30. After breakfast I ended up going back to sleep for a half hour and emerged at around 11-11.30. I quickly got my stuff ready to take a shower and was stuck in the third stall, again. I've come to realize that the first stall works pretty good except there's no lock on the door so the door itself won't stay shut. The second stall has a broken shower head but it has hot water! Yes, it has that mythical thing known as hot water. Finally the third stall, the one I always seem to get stuck with has a broken shower head and has either cold or freezing water. There's never any warm water no matter what. I've gotten used to taking cold showers. They kind of feel really nice and really wake me up. It just takes me a little longer since I have to get used to the cold water.

Before I left the hostel today I decided that since it was around lunch time, I'd order myself a snack. I got some French fries and they came in this huge basket. I was expecting half of that amount for what I paid so that was awesome. They were so good. For some reason they made me crave a fajita and stir fry like the ones I have at home. So that was a little odd.

After my mini lunch it was almost 2 in the afternoon. I had wanted to see a few gardens today and the Tiger Hill but knew I'd only have a chance to see one or the other. I decided to ask at the reception for her recommendation. She suggested seeing the Tiger Hill since I'd already been to the nicest gardens in Suzhou and the others basically looked like mini imitations of the larger ones. She even gave me a coupon booklet to get 5 yuan off admission. That's only a buck but 5 yuan is still 5 yuan. That's like the price of 2 water bottles or a Pepsi or watermelon on a stick or even that awesome ice cream. You get the picture.

I ventured outside to discover that it was another cloudy/misty day. Le sigh. At least it wasn't raining. I jumped into a cab and went for Tiger Hill. That place is rather nice. It's mostly mausoleums, bridges, and trees but it was nice. The scenery is mostly all natural which was an added bonus. I climbed to the top and back down before venturing over to the bonsai tree garden. There's always a bonsai tree garden in the places I visit here. As I was wandering through the garden I could feel a few drops of rain and knew that it was my cue to leave. I didn't want to get stuck in another downpour. I lucked out on a cab once again and made it back to my hostel before the rain started.

I'm going to kick back and relax at the hostel again this evening and pack my things so that I don't have to worry about doing it in the morning before I leave for the bus station to get back to Martha's place. I'll be spending next week at her house and the next time I leave it will be to catch my flight back to Beijing. That's a bit of a scary thought (I've already been here for 19 out of my 35 days).

Tiger Hill:
A section of the bonsai garden

The ultimate bonsai tree. That thing was huge!

A waterfall near the entrance of the bonsai garden

A ginkgo tree! These things are awesome. I love these trees.

A section of one of the walls.

The top of Tiger hill. The building is actually tilting. I held my camera straight for this shot.

One of the many spider/fly/bug things that was constantly flying around on the hill. I don't know what these are but when they bite/sting you it hurts.

Tiger hill from the rock of a thousand seats (or something rather).

The Humble Administrators Garden:

A view of one of the ponds

Ladies really enjoy their parasols here. She walked into my shot so I grabbed a photo of her (I guess I am stealing the locals souls with my camera).

An awesome tree providing a roof. It was really cool looking and the shade was most welcome.

I think this was one of the temples in there....

A view of part of the garden from one of the many round doorways. I should add that round doors are awesome. We need more of them in the West.


  1. Hi Candace,
    I so love your photos...perhaps we could persuade the library to add a round door to the renovations. Wouldn't that be a boon for multiculturalism? Well, I'm logging off now to take a "hot" shower and then it's off to work I go. Take good care.

    Anne-Marie XXXYYYZZZ

  2. I would love it if they put a round door with the renovations! I'm sure that'd get the branch in the news. I have 1 more cold shower left and then I can have hot showers for a week since I'll be staying with my friend the entire time. I'm so excited to get a hot shower even though the bathroom is really cramped with the washing machine in there too. Don't work too hard.


  3. Ah, sleeping in till noon is one of the biggest pleasures of life, isn't it? :D I'm quite prone to it, I declare :nod: (I've been re-reading my beloed Jane Austen novels, I love that style of English XD )
    It's great to hear you're gonna get a decent warm shower soon! and that you had frecnh fries! i love those too XD
    Hey, why is Tiger Hill called that? I thought there'd be a tiger statue, or a tiger-shaped tree or something, LOL
    I agre, round door are really cool, and bonsais too, how about a round door with bonsais placed at the sides? Absolute coolness, huh? :D
    I'm going to bed now, I've classes really early in the morning and I only read 1 of the 7 chapters we're supossed to have read for tomorrow... I'm feeling so lazy tired and lately... :( I soooooo want the weekend to come soon!

  4. Just wanted to say hi, missing you and love all of the gardens and pictures you send us.
    Have fun, and play safe, we are still doing the countdown at home, love you.
    Dad, Mom, Coco-Cory

  5. I finally got a chance to look at your blog and the wonderful photos you have taken. You are so lucky to experience all of this and thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Hey, Vama-chan, are you ok? You haven't posted anything in some days, we miss you...

  7. Eni: I don't usually sleep in so it was really different and rather nice to be able to do it in Suzhou.
    I believe it's called Tiger Hill because it's supposed to resemble a crouching tiger. I didn't see it.

    Marie-Jose: You're very welcome! Thank-you so much for taking the time to read it!