This guy sat in the restaurant all night hand making marzipan figures. That is a live bird on the table.
I am guessing these are not for consumption, only for decorations. What do I know.
The Howard Johnson was actually a very nice hotel. Very new and very clean. Great gym. Peculiar though, on the televisions in the gym you could not get CNN. Think it is because you can pay to use the facilities and they don't want the locals watching or seeing that "they" shut it down all the time whenever China is mentioned in a not so friendly way.
We found out why the first dinner was so crazy, the locals eat there and eat early for some reason. The smoking section was packed, kids running all over, bread plates used for spitoons, and these tiny people packing it away. And like many buffets in the U.S. huge plates of food with half of it left to be thrown away. I was surprised the Chinese acted like that, wasteful. And a lot of the food was cooked to order, especially the fish, which was alive when you picked it out. They also had a guy handmaking noodles which I had the third night and they were great.
On the last day the front desk told Big Daddy they wanted to take our picture. I figured they don't see many white people. That is what they call us, white people. Sure enough when we went down for drinks this lady runs up with the camera. She said she wanted my picture because I was so pretty. Isn't that sweet? I think she had never seen a blonde with bad Farah Fawcett hair before. I had a problem with the curling iron.
The hotel has a fabulous coffee service in the lobby so the morning we checked out, very early, I headed down for the coffee. Everyone wanted to chat and when I got the take-away cup I started to walk to the area where smoking is allowed' they chased me down to grab my roller bag so I would not be burdened with pulling this bag 20 feet.
And once again when I was leaving I saw the best thing, they were having a silk convention and it was in a tent about 5 minutes from the hotel. Oh well. No silk for me.