It was a morning of despites. Despite a forecast for rain and fog, we awoke to stunning sunshine and, most remarkably, clear air. Despite fighting off a head cold and having consumed a surfeit of Spanish tempranillo in the Executive Lounge the night before, I felt great and was eager to go for a jog. Despite having had hernia surgery only three weeks earlier, Frank Lee wanted to join me. Despite having no familiarity with the city, no map, and a directional orientation that would later prove to be off by 90 degrees, we headed out.
This part of Qingdao’s foreshore on the Yellow Sea presented a series of working piers between which there are dramatic cliffs of public parkland footed here and there by swimming beaches with a ten foot tide. It was easy to see why the city was chosen to host the sailing competition during the 2008 Olympics, as it showed us a dedicated sailing culture with all the world class facilities and accommodation one could expect.
Also a nice place for a jog, which is what we had.
Continue reading 06. Luxury & Sexy
The courtyard was deserted before breakfast, so I was doing my morning stretches there as there was insufficient floor space in our room. Flat on my back, legs locked and twisted in bizarre fashion, my quiet time was interrupted when I became aware of feet straddling my ears.
“Can I get some coffee?” an American accent demanded, her bellow echoing off the glass walls.
“Breakfast is served at eight.” I responded in low voice.
“Can I get some coffee?” she repeated, her face now leaning over into my roof-ward view. Did she think I worked here?
“Breakfast is served at eight.” I repeated, slightly louder.
She came to her knees her face now inches above mine. “What? What’s on the plate?”
Deaf as a doornail, I thought. “Breakfast is served at eight.” I repeated, now loud enough to wake our slumbering fellow guests.
“Oh.” she acknowledged, her face contorted in disappointment, lip curled. She stomped off into a room, slamming the door behind her. I heard her snarl “He won’t serve us until eight.” at some unfortunate companion. Sheesh. And I thought I was bad before morning coffee.
Continue reading 05. A Breath of Fresh Air