While I slaved away teaching at school, Ava took Mum and Dad out to DaGuan Park. They had a blast - riding bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, and enjoying a picnic in windy, but warm, weather. And Ava bought Dad a toy monkey to cement her new nickname for him!
My parents and I spent this morning in Kunming Zoo, with Jiajia and her Mum [see photo]. The zoo has recently (thankfully) had many of its larger animals removed (they were not at all "comfortable" last time I visited, some 12 years ago), shipped off to a new safari park to the North of the city.
The main attraction now, at this time of year anyway, is the amazing cherry blossom. We also liked a garden containing 15-20 peacocks, who were very happily showing off their plumage. Dad also enjoyed the WW2 American fighter plane!
Today is Ava's birthday. A few weeks ago I managed to smuggle her favourite childhood doll out of her flat, and took it to various locations around town, photographing its "Big Day Out" as I went [see photos]. I put the resulting 50 photos in an album and gave it to Ava yesterday. She really seemed to like the cheap, but unique, present!
Today was a sunny, if chilly at times, day. So Jiajia and I decided to drive out to Kunming's Botanical Gardens. We had been warned it wouldn't be at its best, with leafless trees and no flowers but, as we arrived, it seemed busy with visitors and we hoped for the best. Unfortunately it was as dull as predicted, although fresh air and birdsong are always better than Kunming's traffic and noise pollution.
As a fan of the bizarre, my highlights were the "possibly-a-bit-crazy" belly dancer who wandered around the park doing random dances [photo, top left], and the Herb Garden which, despite barbed wire and imposing locked gates, also had a massive hole in its wall which was all too easy to walk through [photo, top right]. Later I started chatting to some youngsters who wanted to practise their English, one of whom turned out to be a student at my school (albeit a different branch). Jiajia showed her disinterest at my "working holiday" by flaking out on the lawn, before being told off by the "lawn guard"!
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