It has been exactly 41 days since we left Suzhou, China. One of the reasons that I have not made a post since then is because I knew it would be my last from our China adventure. After two years one gets used to many things that were initially very strange to us. An example is drinking hot water during lunch or dinner. I find myself asking in restaurants for a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon in it (lemon is my addition). Drinking hot water or green tea is a common practice for Chinese nationals that we found strange as we were used to having cold drinks with our meals. Well, if you think about it, a hot drink makes good sense since is helps move greasy residues or fat content of the food being ingested. It also has helped me improve my digestion, so while I do have a cold drink here and there, if I eat I am defaulting to hot water and lemon.
We also miss the many great friends we made (in and out of work), many of the tasty and somewhat strange vegetables we just cannot get in the US and the various teas that just do not taste the same at home. One example – I tried to buy jasmine tea in the store and ended up with a weak and almost tasteless brew I just did not drink. However, my wife found an Asian store that had Chinese Jasmine tea and she bought me a container. Ah! it was great, she paid quite a bit for it, but it is definitely worth it to me.
As per our plan, I retired right after returning from my China assignment. Thirty four years with the same great company where I had a very fulfilling career was hard to let go, but the time was right for me to retire. To add to all the changes in our lives, we decided to relocate to Greenville, South Carolina. “Why there?” is the question we keep on hearing from everyone we tell about our move. Well, we find Greenville to have a great mix of what we would like to experience during our retirement phase. Excellent weather with very little snow if any; yes it gets hot, but not Miami like heat. The area is visually stunning, we are an hour away from the Blue Ridge mountains, there are excellent cycling routes and hiking trails and we are liking Southern hospitality. Greenville center is beautiful and has a huge choice of restaurants and activities year around. The city is the home of The Greenville Drive, a minor league Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member of the South Atlantic League. Their Fluor Stadium resembles a shrunken Fenway Park (green monster wall and all). We saw our first game last night and the Drive won by scoring all of their 5 runs in the 8th inning.
There are many other reasons we chose Greenville, to hear more of them and what we are up to I hope you visit my Retirement Blog (in development right now – will share the link in this blog as soon as I go live with it). We thank all those who visited, enjoyed the information and also those who left comments on our China blog; your support really made a difference in keeping this blog going. Be assured that we will keep the new blog updated with many activities and trips we have planned. We invite you to join us in our new adventure; stay tuned for the new link coming soon (I will post the new link in this blog, so if you are subscribed to this blog you will get an alert email automatically).
One last peek at Suzhou – for a nice video of Suzhou please click on the link below. There is an advertisement at the beginning and it does start in Chinese, for a small portion in English move the timeline to the 2:35 minute mark. A bit long, but gives you good highlights of Suzhou
For link click HERE
Until the next post!
Hours, days and months went by fast. Two years and one month, has gone by since my first posting on this blog. That means our China assignment has ended and we are back in the US. But I still have a couple of blog posts I need to make before I can say farewell Suzhou. I learned very quickly to love Suzhou and its people. I will miss so many things it would be hard to list them all. So what can we do on our last day in Suzhou? Well, that was an easy question for me; visit Tongli. Tongli is a wonderful water town about 40 minutes away from Suzhou. I like it the best because it has a very local feel, is very large and full of fun stuff to see and photograph.
We invited our Suzhou friends Ali and Nastaran to come along and share our last tour with us. Additionally, we asked John, our driver, to join us and take pictures with us (he has become quite the photographer). Some of you may remember Tongli from two previous posts in August 2011 – link to those are post One & Two. If you are interested in Tongli’s background visit post One.
Below we share some of the images from our last Tongli visit.
As of this post we have already left China. The next post will be on our farewell to Suzhou, China and its wonderful people.
Thanks for visiting.
We were so glad we kept Agra and the Taj Mahal for the last leg of our India tour. We were told by many people the Taj Mahal alone was worth a visit to India; must agree, it is truly amazing building with a beautiful story behind it. This incredible structure is an immense mausoleum of white marble, built-in Agra between 1631 and 1648 commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife – Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.
See below for more information on the Taj Mahal and a few other sites from our last stop on our India tour.
A few miscellaneous people pictures