Sunday night Eric Lee insisted that we take him to the Sichuan restaurant that we had been raving about, so we did. We got the TUB of fish soup again, plus two new dishes: a stirfried tofu and pork dish, plus a wilted lettuce dish. Neither were as hot as the Sichuan green beans had been the previous night, but they were still nice and spicy and really delicious. I thought the tofu dish was especially good as it was stir-fried in chili oil and spices together with great big slices of pork belly (with the skin on) which kind of looked like the slices of tofu, but definitely did not taste like tofu. Even with three people, we still couldn’t finish the fish soup. The same young man waited on us, although he seemed preoccupied with his cell phone, so his younger sister ended up doing most of the work and was much more attentive. The check came to 101 yuan (about $15 for the three dishes and three bottles of beer), and we tried to tip the sister 10 yuan (about $1.40), and she absolutely positively would have nothing to do with that. We could NOT give her a tip. Period.
After we left the restaurant, Eric headed to the apartment while Alison and I doubled back to a clothing store we’d passed on our way to the restaurant because we’d seen that they had pajamas on display, and we wanted to buy some pajamas. Why buy pajamas? Apparently Shanghai and the Shanghailanders are famous for wearing pajamas all the time, including out on the street during the day. Plus we will be spending two nights on a train in the next few days, and it seemed appropriate to have some pajamas available to slip into for the ride.
Sure enough, the place was still open, and they had exactly the kind of pajamas we were looking for — the kind meant for locals, not the kind meant for tourists. However, the saleswoman took one look at me and shook her head when we held up the style I liked. She turned to the stacks of extra stock and found what she was looking for: the same style, but she held up the label and said, very slowly while pointing to the size: “Extra Extra Large!” I didn’t know that I was a giant, but I guess I am.
Alison did not have to get a giant size, and now we are very happy with our new pajamas, especially mine because in addition to having a very domestic design, they also exhibit the nonsense English phrases that are common on t-shirts all around the city.