Lair Shopping

January 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm (general life)

If my husband and I ever become billionaires, we’re going to build an underground lair. Every so often we embellish the lair, leaving taste and plausibility for another lifetime.

Today we encountered the stellar work of the Empress Cixi – specifically, The Summer Palace. It was RATHER large, and stamped with the kind of genius that marks true insanity. I took careful note. Because maybe someday I’ll have a lake, and a hill, and a national budget, and an infinite number of servants.

If I’m like the empress, I’ll honour the cash-strapped navy by building something a little bit like this:

It might not look too hydrodynamic, but that’s okay, since it’s made of marble. (For some bizarre reason, the navy didn’t appreciate it).

If I get sick of people gaping at me when I shop, I’ll follow the empress’ lead once again and build me my OWN, much BETTER, shopping zone (preferably with a river. Rivers are fun, right?)

No-one likes a boring ceiling.

Ooh! And I like rocks, so I’ll get several tonnes of those and arrange them all pretty-like, here and there.

With, ya know, staircases and caves and subterranean bits and stuff:

Lakes are fun. I can have twelve or so barges (wooden ones this time), and go skating on it in Winter. Of course, if I’m gonna have a lake I should build an island. And bridges are pretty, too. I’ll get one of those. (And, since I live in Canberra, several snow machines and a SERIOUS refrigerator unit).

This is the seventeen-arch bridge, which has 500 unique hand-carved lions on it. Why not?

The Summer Palace in Winter is starkly beautiful and utterly elegant.

Crazy people make the best lairs, and that’s all there is to it.

My feet hurt.

Today’s taste of the day is an easy choice. We finally had Beijing Duck.

The duck was traditionally cooked in a wood oven, and the chef sliced it up in front of us. It was crispy and moist and wonderful, and I ate it hand-wrapped in super-thin rice pancakes with sauce ( a little like a sweet barbeque sauce) and shallots. It was exquisite, and probably the best thing I’ve eaten here (that is a tough call). It cost us around $15 each, including other dishes (all good), and dessert. The restaurant was called So-and-so’s Bistro (I can’t remember the name right) and the wallpaper alone could have kept me entertained for days:

At the end of the meal they gave us a fruit platter and individually-wrapped sticks of gum. They also gave each girl a long-stemmed red rose.

The moral of this blog is: Go to China. See stuff. Eat.

We’re travelling a bit over the weekend (to Indonesia, where it’s ever so warm), so don’t freak out if you don’t read anything new until Monday (or later).

Despite the excellence of the day, it wasn’t done with us yet. . .


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