Since I last posted, I've had 2 boys and toys but haven't really purchased that many new puzzles. (Ok, that's a lie. I always get more, but none overly exciting.) I'll start with the GZ open.
1 October is Chinese National day and it's also the date of the annual GZ open. I haven't missed this since I first started going to GZ 5 years ago and this year was no exception.
I left HK right after I finished my classes at 6 on Monday evening and spent 2 nights with the guys. Some fool decided to jump on the tracks, so despite my best laid plans, I didn't arrive in GZ until after 10 pm. As Ming was setting up the venue for the competition the next day he couldn't meet me at the train station. I'm very proud of myself though. For the first time ever, I not only made it to GZ by myself, but I also navigated the subway by myself. I've no excuse now. I know I can do it and the guys do too so I'll have no more welcoming committee.
High on my list of priorities was a flask so I don't have to travel on the train drink free. Even after having gone to China all these years, and all the conferences I go to I'm still afraid of the train and flying. A bit of liquid courage is needed, and the flask seemed like a good solution for me. Sadly because it was national day, most of the shops were closed.
We went back to the competition and saw a few solves, and then got ready to hand out some of the awards. Jing Meffert was there as well as a representative from Yong Jin. Smaz and I also gave out a few of the awards. Standard stuff for us. But the fun was yet to begin.
After, we all headed out for dinner together and had the usual too many drinks and too little food. Tonight's dinner was in a different kind of restaurant. There was even a belly dancer and Happy Angel was enticed to dance with one of the girls.
The best photo of the night though was of the guys puzzling away while the girls danced on.
This is really the reason I go to these things. To have fun with the guys. My friends are worth the trip. As is usual, we enjoyed a bit of karaoke and this time the guys even got me up to sing.
Silly Rox was supposed to go back Tuesday night, but Smaz reminded me of the cheap cost of a train ticket so I stayed overnight and spent an extra day.
On the 2nd we went back out to do our shopping and managed to pick up everything we were looking for except my docking station for my phone. Another quick dinner and we headed off for the train station. We just made it and managed to hit HK before the boarder closed and the trains stopped running. All in all, it was a great GZ trip. (Like I expected anything less.)
Stay tuned for Gathering for Gardner in Beijing....