Up before crack of dawn, packed breakfast (yuck) and on bus to airport. Xi’An coming, and we’ve never been before. Our organisation has given us plenty of time to check in which is just as well. You cannot take opened bottles of alcohol in checked luggage. We had some opened whisky of the expensive and hard to come by variety and had a choice between throwing it away or drinking it. Tough decision.
Beijing airport is vast and empty at 6 in the morning. “Oh, Tannenbaum” was playing as the Muzak, unless you had a socialist upbringing in which case the words forming in the mind were of proletariat struggle.
The fish in the Fish Bar got lucky again last night as the FWC Boys were back in town. They (the fish) took mild revenge for the swordfish that was served up on our plates accompanied by a traditional potato purée that enhances the flavour (of the swordfish not the Boys).
well I closed off yesterday’s blog a little prematurely, putting it online using the wifi at Kritiko.
The right kind of sky
In Kalives there is a new bar. “Would you like to come to the fish bar. It’s new in town.”. Sounds lovely. Turns out to be an aquarium where you put your feet in the water and fish eat all the disgusting bits. Following much discussion of what ends up in the water, where the fish go to the toilet, the statistical likelihood of catching hepatitis B, and whether catfish can be used as fish doctors (apparently they are in Borneo) a few hardy souls head off to try. They come back half an hour later having missed dessert, all giggly and enthusiastic. What happened to the hard-as-nails Kung fu students? Missing dessert for a pedicure, bah humbug! And most of them were males of the species!!
I can see you from here
Anyway on to today. Whilst the lunch restaurant is scenic and provides plenty of freshly cooked delicious food, variety is the spice of life. So after morning training today was a picnic on the beach. With commendable foresight given this morning’s hill sprints we pre-ordered cooked meat from the grill. Arriving to pick it up, the place is a hive of activity with meat grilling on all the spits – when we left they just had the gyros (Cretan equivalent of doner kebab) left The “mock chicken nuggets”(made from redundant ram parts) were delicious with a squeeze of lemon and dipped in sheep yoghurt. Also on the menu was kokoritsi – lamb’s draw (squishy bits) wrapped in intestine and roasted, good source of high quality protein, iron, and collagen. Perfect recovery food: a moment on the lips a lifetime on the quads.
Afternoon training in the shade of olive and orange trees
Today’s maths problem – if you have 15 deep-fried lamb’s privates and 28 people how much better does it taste if you eat it sitting under a tree on a beach by the Med? And what is the probability that anyone will eat any lettuce? Hint: the answer to one of these questions is nil, but we did provide lettuce, honest.
Back to houses and swimming pools for siesta and competitive spoon diving (see last year’s blog for details).
Very hot today – all the clouds have gone and the right type of sky has turned up. Grateful for the chance to acclimatise to English summer on our return.