Thursday, January 17, 2008

Harbor Cafe

This entry is named after a shop located across the street from Alison's school. They have a bakery downstairs, which is quite unique in its selling of bread that very closely approximates bread you might buy in the West.1 Upstairs is a rather cozy restaurant, again with some half-decent Western dishes. It's one of the few dining places around that stays open between about 1:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon, and we ended up there yesterday for a late lunch.

The first thing of note during our meal: There were three girls at the table next to us, and one of them had chosen to bring her puppy along.2 It divided its time between sitting on her lap, briefly roaming around the floor and paying us a visit, and having a short crawl about on their table. (Apparently the table in question was Alison's and Phil's regular spot to eat; I think they've decided to change henceforth.)

On the way out I saw something else that piqued my interest. The restaurant is pretty eclectically decorated, with the walls adorned with an assortment of decorations from photos of old American movie stars to a motorized folding bicycle. What I saw was one thing I never expected to see posted in a public place anywhere in China: A movie poster for Seven Years in Tibet.

1This is unusual because most things that look like bread here actually contain one surprise or another: maybe it's sweet, maybe it's got a mystery filling, maybe it's got fish flakes sprinkled on top.

2Maybe I should be glad that "hanging out in a restaurant" was adding to the dog's range of experiences; after all, who knows how long it had to live. It seems people in this country acquire dogs and cats at way too young an age when they should certainly not be removed from their mothers. That combined with the less-than-ideal care and diet provided by their owners doesn't make for much of a life expectancy.

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