Thursday, June 25, 2009

Aaaand I'm back.

We have had no internet for a few days. Got it all sorted this morning and in good time, too, what with the needing to escape the media circus taking place on TV in relation to Whacko Jacko's death (oh and Farrah Fawcett, just in case nobody noticed).

So what have I been up to?

Mr C's mum, dad and grandmother stayed with us for a few weeks. I got to play tour guide and we saw some sites - 798 Art district, Lama Temple, flower, pearl, antiques markets, Peking Acrobats, all sorts of stuff. It was fun, though tiring. They have gone back to Oz now and the place is very quiet...

  • Got me some new specs. They're red (nothing new, really).
  • Went to a baking class and learned to make decent lemon meringue pie. My first attempt had the lemon filling unsettled and runny, but all the flavours were there. Guess I just have to perfect it now. Poor Mr C...
  • Organised a walking group to start up next week. There are some cards you can buy with walks around Beijing on them. I figured it would be a good way to see the place, meet some people and maybe get some exercise...
  • Organised a craft day. I think the aim is to make stuff we can donate to charity, so like scarves and blankets. Should be fun...
  • Booked Jie-Jie and myself into Yoga classes starting next Friday. Not sure if Pers will co-operate, but she might surprise me.
  • Met one of the mums from Pers' kindy and we'll be setting up playdates and stuff for the girls.
  • Went on the expatmamma night out last night. First night off in a very long time. Had loads of laughs, met some lovely women and I think I've found a niche to replace the SCA gap in my life.

    Looking ahead:
  • My Di-di (little brother) is visiting next month, with his chicky, for a couple of weeks.
  • I am about to book in for some cooking classes. I am a crap cook and it's about time that changed. I'm going to learn how to cook some of the regional cuisine, just for kicks.
  • We are coming home to Oz for a couple of months at the beginning of October. Will be spending a couple of weeks in Sydney before heading out to Orange and then to Adelaide. I'll teach y'all how to make hand-pulled noodles, k? As was the case last time, I won't have wheels. Come on out to Orange, get some fresh air into those lungs!
  • Thursday, June 4, 2009

    To market, to market...

    So today, we decided not to head on up to Tian'anmen Square to have a bit of a squiz. Although, from what we understand, we could've, we just would have had a hard time taking photos for all the umbrella action that was happening up there...

    We did get some rain today, so I guess their efforts weren't completely in vain...

    Instead, we decided to go to Sanyuan Li, the fresh produce (and other stuff) markets as I needed to pick a few things up and it's always a bit of an adventure. So while we were getting ourselves ready and dodging the influx of ayis as is customary on a Thursday morning, Pers managed to get out, call the lift, get in it, go down to the first floor, get through the security doors, past a security guard, through the building, past another security guard, out of the building and off to the park in our complex.

    After a few moments of sheer and absolute terror on my part, Nanma managed to find her. And lucky for Pers that Nanma got to her before I did. Just sayin'.

    We went to the markets and really, it is one of my happy places here in Beijing, the other being the flower markets. I love it there, it's exciting and colourful and friendly and DIRT CHEAP. We pay maybe a third of what you would pay back home for all our fresh produce, it's astounding. I find the hanging meat a bit confronting and am never game to buy as I don't know what cut I'd be getting, but the fruit and veg are something else and for 1 kuai, I can get a big bag of freshly made noodles to bring home and make into a soup. Damn...

    Anyways, here are some pics I have been meaning to take for ages and got around to today:

    Stall number 91, where I always go for my veggies

    This lady is lovely, she lets me practice my mandarin and is very gentle with her corrections.

    I'm afraid I am not so loyal with the fruit as the stalls do vary with what they have available. Today we bought from stall number 20.

    We had rather a lovely fruit salad

    And then there was the noodle/dumprings/pancake-omelette thing/bread place

    We got some noodles and had very yummy pork and noodle soup for dinner

    I really must go to that hand-pulled noodle class so I can come home and make noodle soup and teach everybody how to make their own. Can't be that hard, huh?

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    It was 20 years ago today...

    No, we will not be taking the visiting relatives to Tian'anmen Square this week.