Well, after Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, I’m finally back home in Beijing. Gulistan’s niece Guliziba arrived at 06h00 on our first morning back to Beijing. We both worked Friday and Saturday, and then the May 1st to 7th holiday started.
So on Saturday, after work, the three of us met and then had a dinner with Gulistan’s classmates from university, a mini-reunion of about 12 people plus friends and spouses. While I was waiting for the two of them at the gate to her university, I sat on the grass and started and nearly finished working on a paper that I had to do. The evening was very beautiful and warm. Very nice. The dinner was great and I met some very good people from all over China. We finished the night by taking Guliziba to Tiananmen Square and Qianmen. The square was closed, but we were able to take photos and walk around the perimeter of the square.
On Sunday, we went to an opening exhibition of the artist Redxing’s 365 show, which featured a series of paintings that she had done one a day for a whole year spanning 2004/2005. Very cool. Then we went to my apartment to hang out and visit some of the parks in my neighbourhood. We ate at the local cheap and favourite restaurant, and then called it a night.
On Monday, we took an overnight trip with some of Gulistan’s friends from the arts and culture community to the countryside near Huairou, to the NE of Beijing. During the dinner, it was hard for me to relax and feel a part of the group because I don’t like to drink very much yet that was the theme of the night. But then I solved a candle problem and instantly relaxed and felt like I belonged. In short, one man brought out some candles and was trying to put them in the mouths of all the empty beer bottles, but the candles were slightly too narrow and would fall into the bottles. So I suggested sticking a toothpick perpendicularly through the base of each candle to stop them from falling inside. Instant success. And soon after, they cleared the floor and put on music for dancing, so I relaxed more and started dancing. I guess I’m a dancer now. I would have never in the past been made comfortable by dancing at a party. It seems I’ve changed, and everyone was impressed with my and Gulistan’s swing dancing, even if it was to the Eagles!
Back in Beijing on Tuesday evening, we spent time at my apartment so I could do laundry, and later we had dinner at Pizza Hut. Mmmm. Pizza.
And that brings us to today, which is Wednesday. My cousin Corinne has been teaching English in Changsha in southern China, and her sister and father have come to visit. The three of them will arrive in Beijing today and spend a few days here with us. We’ll have a Peking Duck dinner tonight and decide what sights to see over the next few days. Phew! After this is all over, I’m going to need a vacation from my many vacations! But I’m glad they are coming.
Pictures of Shanghai and everything else will follow once I get some time to work on them.