Huffman Coding

… with a bunch of Family Stuff too

Bullet Train

For our last night in Chongqing we ate at Pizza Hut. They have a quite varied menu here (New Orleans pasta, anyone?) but the spicy Schezwan lunch we had earlier in the day was much better.

We ran across a huge market that catered to women last night with hundreds of small shops each perhaps one meter wide and two meters deep. Half of them were selling jeweled iPhone cases the other half were selling ladies undergarments. I doubt any male was in the¬†BedazzleMart¬†willingly. I sure wasn’t. Katie bought a cell phone charm and I escaped across the street to the local electronics store for some AA batteries.

We headed back to the hotel for an ice cream nightcap. We regretted it immediately because the mint sherbert tasted like Tums. Each night the exterior lights of the hotel flashed across our large room window in what I assume was a discernable pattern when viewed from outside of the hotel, but it was just annoying from within. We checked out of the hotel this morning.

According to our guide, the city of Chongqing is shaped like a duck and it takes 8 hours to get from one side of the city to the other by car, so I was surprised to discover that it only takes 2.5 hours to get to Chengdu where we will rejoin the group.

Windy took us to the train station and got us through the security checkpoint. They wanded Windy, Chris and me but they waved the girls on. Katie immediately asked me why she and Claire weren’t scanned and I said it was because she and her sister looked like they couldn’t hurt a fly. Claire, oblivious to the colloquialism, took umbrage: “Oh yes, we could!”

A couple of fine, young gentlemen helped lift a couple of our considerable bags onto the rack above our seats on the bullet train. The lady behind Chris must have been from Belgium because she was quite phlegmmish, hocking up massive amounts of sputum every few minutes. Loudly. The train traveled between 165 and 200 km/h between the two cities, and the spitting eventually stopped.

The girls on the bullet train

Our new guide in Chengdu is Alice, another pleasant young lady. She is the “Sporty Spice” to Windy’s “Posh Spice.”

Chengdu seems very nice; a quaint city of only 9 million, the smallest we’ve been to so far. Although Alice says the city is overcast on average 280 days of the year, our first day here has had beautiful blue skies.

Our guide took us to a great restaurant for lunch and the food was great. Our hotel is beautiful. It, like the one in Chongqing, has a room closet with a lock box, a scale, and his & her bathrobes and gas masks.

Must be a Schezwan province thing.

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