posted by Sarah
We work six days a week, and this past Sunday instead of taking our allotted day of rest, we went on an outing with some kids and their parents from the school to Ling Shan, where we spent a surprisingly enjoyable (if not tiring) day.
Our large group set out at 6:30 in the morning on two air conditioned tour buses, and our chipper tour guide (in typical Chinese fashion: wearing heels for a rigorous walk around a mountain) informed us that the trip would last about 2 hours. The bus, unfortunately, did have a microphone, and our guide used it to her fullest capabilities, asking students to come up and say English phrases, and having the adults sing songs. Our colleague Mr. Wen sang “Eidelweiss,” I sang “Amazing Grace,” and Joel opted out due to a head cold.
At our destination, like all official Chinese tour groups, we donned fashionable matching baseball caps and set out to have some organized fun.
Our first stop was the (arguably) largest single cave in China, spanning about 4,000 meters across, where the largest stalagmite (again a disputed claim) reaches from floor to ceiling. It was blessedly cool. I came to realize why people still live in caves.
Our final destination was a pear farm where we picked our own pears. These delicately sweet, refreshingly crisp bronzed globes were wrapped individually on the trees in a special kind of paper bag (is this a common practice?) – kind of strange, picking packaged fruit from the trees.