I forgot the candle but I got my dongporou (东坡肉), Hangzhou-style braised pork belly cut in a large cube, served in a ceramic dish. Guiltily I admit to having had seconds.
The flip side was a surreal day of that started jetlagged at 2 am, involved a crack of dawn train from Shanghai to get down to Hangzhou in time spend an hour in traffic to then spend an hour in company’s visitor hall admiring a huge screen of real-time displays, before the hour drive to lunch, then half hour drive to the company’s other office to admire a similar, slightly smaller screen along with a cursory meeting, the forty-five minute drive back to the train station, notice a pattern? Business in each country looks surreal from the outside, I suppose that’s why I like it even when it is exhausting.
At 9 pm I am finally done moving for the day, my battered body grasping the bowl of changshou mian ‘longevity noodles’ (长寿面) before crumpling to sleep. I think I’ll sleep past 2 am tonight.