A day full of meetings - all good - Cheer and Xiao Hong, Frankle and then Winnie and Liao.
Feb 15, 2018
|We headed off to Cheer and Xiao Hong's house for lunch, and took a #4 bus to get us up to Guta Lu. Then it was a mission to see where we could cross the road! With the run up to the new bridge, and a dividing fence all the way down the middle of the road, we had to walk back quite a way to find a way through. There is a new pedestrian overpass under construction, but it looks to be quite a way off finishing. So, it was the long way round for us.
As we walked along Cheer's street, I wondered if I would be able to find his building, and after a couple of false starts, we got there. As soon as I saw it, I knew we were in the right place.
But we got to the security gate at the bottom of the building, and sent messages, called, called on wechat, and kept getting no reply! Eventually I called Xiao Hong's phone, and managed to get Cheer to answer. He dashed down the stairs to open up for us, then sent us up as he went off to the shop for something Xiao Hong needed.
I took it nice and slowly. Seven flights of steps is not my favourite thing to do nowadays. But to visit them makes it all worth while. Their house is looking good, with plants in pots in every window. Xiao Hong is quite the little farmer, with a lot of vegetables growing in her gardens.
When they asked me what I'd like for lunch, I told them that one of my Zhaoqing favourites is tomato and egg. Somehow it got lost in translation. We got shredded potato, and the eggs were pigeon eggs in a pot of meat and soup!! Oh well, it was still nice.
Cheer had to work hard to get Mei Xuan to show us her ability playing the guzheng (Chinese zither) She was not too keen to show off for us. But she was certainly happy to show us her playmate, a big grey cat, who is a very playful critter.
After lunch, we headed off, in towards the city, to meet Frankle and collect the small case that he has had at his place since we left to go away. We met him outside his building, and then went up to have a look at the apartment he and Kathy will move into, once the sale of their apartment is finalized. They are still waiting for formalities.
I love their location, high above the city centre. His Mum finds it noisy, but I think she must be super noise sensitive, because I don't even notice it!!
Of course, now that things are starting to move with the house sale, and their new house sits vacant and unfinished, Frankle and Kathy are anxious to get things moving, so they can move into their new place.
When we left, Frankle arranged a Didi car to take us to Winnie and Liao's place to meet them, before going out to dinner.
Tonight is a very significant night, as it is the last night of the old year, and a time for families to celebrate, so we felt very honoured to be included in their gathering. Tonight is particularly special, because Liao's sister's daughter-in-law will be having her first official dinner with the family.
Liao had gone before us, because of the importance of the meal, he did not want to be late. As the host, he needed to be there to greet his guests. But when we got there, he was sitting there by himself. Quite a few phone calls were exchanged between one of his sisters and Liao, and at first it seemed that they could not find their son. He and his bride had been trying on wedding clothes, and now were missing in action.
But then later, it was said that they misunderstood what time they should have been there. All a little humiliating for Liao who had bent over backwards to do the right thing by his family. I thought they were a little careless in their actions, and I know Liao was not happy, but once they arrived, all was well again!!
The meal was very nice, with a whole lot of prawns on skewers cooked in the hot pot. Except for the messy fingers, I love them. We got to meet the young couple, whose wedding party will be on March 3, and I have been invited to join them on their big day. It will be another village wedding, so I will enjoy that a lot. Both the young people speak reasonable English so that gave us someone new to talk to!!
On our way out, Winnie had taken us to see her neighbour's house. They had just been coming in. Wow!! What a mansion. On the same floor as Winnie and Liao, but a complete different style of decorating. All white and glossy and very, very showy. Not my style at all, but they have certainly spent a huge amount of money kitting it out.
I did manage to tell Winnie later on that I far prefer her and Liao's house decorating taste. Much more understated, but still very obvious quality.
When we got back to their house, to collect our things and head for home, a friend of Winnie's turned up, with her 18 year old son Brian. He is in Senior High School, and will graduate this year. He has astoundingly good English, and wants to take us out somewhere before we leave, and to be our tour guide.
I had met Brian when he was just a little boy, and of course, at that time he did not talk to me, but now he is an intelligent, considerate young man, with the world at his feet.
His parents offered to drive us home, and of course we did not wish to offend them, so we did not have to worry about taxis, or buses.
I am looking forward to catching up with Brian again soon.
We had not been in bed very long, when it began to sound like a war zone. As soon as midnight rolled over, the fire crackers began. Not pretty ones, just very loud. Certainly in this area, there should be no bad spirits hanging about. They should all be frightened off, in no uncertain terms!