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Published: December 13th 2008
Once again, it has been a long time since I wrote anything in here so I will take a little time and update our life here in Wuhan. Winter is coming and the days are slowly getting colder but everyone, including me, is still riding bicycles and scooters. But I think these days are going to end soon. Last week was still in the high teens but today was quite cool. Many trees are still quite green but most are finally looking bare as the leaves drop more quickly day by day.
As I drove along Minzu Avenue today on the way to the local mall, there were a few signs of Christmas approaching, but I had to look closely. It is pretty much a non-issue in Wuhan, but here and there, there were a few hastily put up decorations in windows and storefronts. One hotel had a tattered life-sized Santa standing outside the entrance. It looked pretty lonely since nothing else around was the least bit Christmassy. Outside the mall, a large decorated Christmas tree has been put up and the palm trees lining the entrance were wrapped with red ribbon complete with bows. Classic English Christmas carols were
audible in the background competing with the same tunes being sung in Chinese. As I walked through the grocery store, I was treated to a Chinese version of Jingle Bells.
This week, we found out that we have been invited to a large show on December 19 for all the foreigners in Wuhan that involves, music, dance, opera, acrobatics and other performances. Many of the performances have received recognition home and abroad. It is hosted by the foreign affairs and foreign expert bureau. We will get a chance to mingle with other foreigners here and also enjoy some great talent, by the sounds of it.
We have both been really busy for the last few weeks, Nancy with her courses and me with my classes. She is finally back to work on a daily basis and is down to walking with one crutch much of the time. Today she went all day without crutches, a major breakthrough. It is a slow process but her leg is getting stronger a little bit at a time. We haven’t done much sight-seeing or traveling around these last couple of months because it has been too difficult for her to walk much.
By the time the winter break arrives, she should be good enough to truck around a little.
This will be the first year that I will not have a long break for the Christmas holidays. But we do get a four day week-end for Christmas and another four day weekend for New Year’s. And, we get four or five weeks off in January and February so it is almost another summer vacation. We haven’t made any plans yet but will probably take a couple of short trips at least during that time.
It was a bad week for losing things. One day last week I noticed that my wedding ring had fallen off at some point and was gone missing. I think that I may have lost it in the school cafeteria as I was banging my plate against the garbage can to knock off the food before giving it to the dishwashers. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say that by the time I realized it was missing, there was no way anyone would find it unless they sifted through several large garbage pails of food waste. And even then, the chances of finding
This old guy is outside the mall somewhere playing every day...
it would be slim, assuming that is even where it was.
And then I left my bankcard in the machine. Don’t even ask… I went to the local bank office to get a new card, filled in the required paperwork, and then went back two weeks later to get my card as per the instructions. The new card was there, but I could not get it because I did not have the little pink slip that I obtained during the first trip. Even with my passport, some loud requests, pleading and an attempted bribe, there was no way they were going to give it to me. I took the taxi back home, found what I thought was the required piece of paper, and returned. Well, they all had a good chuckle as I handed over my passport and the pink slip. It was not the right one!! I finally gave up in despair, filled out another form and now have to return in another week to get my bank card. This time I stapled the pink slip to my passport.
Our little school private cooking club continues to flourish. Each week, the small group cooks me up another
Just thinking about the spring...
Reconditioned vintage bikes available in Beijing
authentic Chinese meal as I “supervise” in the kitchen. One of these weeks I will remember to bring my camera with me. This week, Kylin brought her family specialty with her from her home in another part of China,,,spiced and seasoned intestines!! It is her favorite family dinner so, of course, I had to give it a try. Her mom had prepared them just for us and then frozen them until we could use them. They cooked them up with a type of “tofu” along with a variety of vegetables. I expected them to taste like tripe but they were actually very tender and delicious. I don’t think there is any part of the animal that they don’t eat here.
They all got a laugh about me calling it tofu. They proceeded to tell me that Westerners call every soy product tofu but, in fact, there are dozens if not hundreds of soy products here. Buying “tofu” here is like buying cheese in Quebec. There are many different varieties of many different colours, flavours, seasonings and shapes. Each area has its own specialty. I am slowly beginning to recognize stuff in the supermarket, thanks to this little “show and
On the road again...maybe...
It's ok, mom and dad, it wouldn't be able to tip over!!
Anyway, that is about it for now. I have included a few Christmas shots and a bad video taken with my little camera. And for my biker friends, I have included a couple of bikes I have my eyes on for the spring!! Till the next time….
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