Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dinner Time

The gardens south of the Yangtze River are the best under Heaven, and among them the gardens of Suzhou are the Best. These gardens are famous for their tranquil and serene environment, refined layout and exquisite Building skills. Lately I’ve been starting to feel as if I’m growing tired of Suzhou gardens. It feels as if we’ve been everywhere before and tried everything before. When friends come to visit, I find myself suggesting the same restaurants we’ve eaten at a million times. In the areas which I’ve been visited many times last year, the humble administrator's Garden and the Lingering Garden my favorites. But I have started to feel tired and stagnant. I visit them and feel the familiarity of every garden, nothing or nowhere new.
Of course this isn’t really the case. I know that. One thing Suzhou could never be described as is stagnant – it is constantly changing and evolving, and new places, spots and eateries are always arriving. Chengpin bookstore has an opening ceremony last week. Walking down the shopping mall full of cute cafe’s and pubs with customers spilling out onto the streets, I started to feel that giddy excitement that comes with visiting somewhere new that you just know you’re going to love.

So I guess it’s not Suzhou to blame for being tired but us. This year, we’ve got busy. REAL busy. Time is precious, and any of it that is going spare comes with the added pressure of needing to be spent wisely and not wasted. We no longer seem to have the hours free to seek out the new or the exciting or the blink and you’ll miss it, and even when we do, we don’t seem to have the energy to enjoy them. Instead of being at the front of the pack – trying out the new places before anyone else has and passing on the recommendations to others – we’re at the back – taking those recommendations to make sure when, on the rare occasion, we do eat out we’re heading somewhere that’s worth our time and our spend. Life seems to have got in the way, and Suzhou has become just a place to live rather than a place to explore.

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