Weather so far hasn't really impacted our trip until now. Days might have been a little cooler than expected or a little warmer than expected but no big deal. When it rained, we either hung out indoors or found a museum or other indoor activity to occupy our time. Here in Yangshuo, it has been colder and wetter than expected. On top of that, it is an "outdoor" area where all the activities are outdoors. So what's a family to do?
Well, we have our usual cadre of indoor activities that we have relied on heavily here in this wonderful (but cold and damp) city: Writing in our personal journals that we all keep, reading our dwindling supply of English language books (Australia is just 9 days away), Updating our Blog entries (we've even got some prepared for Hong Kong and Australia already - just joking), editing pictures and catching up with our emails. Avocet and Siena have also had some good old fashion play time. We have also eaten ample supplies of Chinese food and done some shopping. Avocet and Siena have also learned to play pool at one of the local bars and have perfected their Foosball game as well.
While there are no museums here in Yangshuo, you can take classes in lots of different things. We took a class in Chinese Calligraphy. Unlike calligraphy at home which is done with a special pen with hard nibs and ink, Chinese Calligraphy is done with paint brushes and ink. I loved the feel of the brush strokes as they glided across the page. It is a very elegant form of writing and it looks quite beautiful. While we only learned about 20 of the 2000 Chinese characters, I think we all did quite well.
We also took a class in Chinese Chess. The pieces are round disks, more similar to checker pieces than chess pieces, with Chinese writing on the top. We could all grasp how each piece moved but then once we moved them, we could never remember which piece was which. I guess if you can read Chinese, you could more easily recognize the pieces. We had a good enough time but everyone felt that they had to think too much for this one - we're all turning into a bunch of softies!
We were also signed up for a Chinese Cooking Class but on the day we were to go, Avocet woke up sick. We were planning on rescheduling but Avocet's stomach bug has been making it's way through our household so at the moment, cooking class is not in the picture.
In between the raindrops, we managed a few nicer days and rented bikes to either tool about the city or explore the country side. When life gives you lemons, make lemon gelato!