Tuesday, November 11, 2008 ;
4:01 PM
When Dh boss stayed over at our place for 2 nights, I was quite stressed because I worried that we would be poor hosts, since our boxes have not yet arrived from Utah (yes, terrible shipping company service and lots of red tape to overcome over here at the Tianjin port). We had many things that are not complete, that are improvised, and haphazard.

Take for example our pillows, we didn't have enough. Bedsheets, pillowcase, toiletries (thankfully he brought a whole set of his own), and even cups and plates were not enough.

Also, since I bought most of the basic necessities to survive, they are all mismatched, so I felt very embarrassed to be serving food in plates of all kinds of shapes and sizes and patterns.

Furthermore our guest toilet did not have a shower curtain. There wasn't even a railing or a fixture for us to fix one. So our guests asked, "How should I take a shower here?" I told him it's fine, whatever way he wants. Doesn't matter if the water splashes all over.

After 2 nights, and Dh and him travelled out of town on another business trip (previous one was to the northen part of China- Heilongjiang area, this time to southern part-Beijing and Suzhou). The 2nd time he was back, he stayed in a hotel instead. Dh and I both felt that he must be rather uncomfortable and uneasy in our house. He did say he was very thankful but he felt very bad to impose on us. I think the fact that he was woken up at 6am by the kids (normal schoolday) also contributed to his decision.

Oh, must record our deep gratitude to our neighbor H, who lent us all her bedsheets, pillow, pillowcase, and comforter when we needed them.

This was a lunch we had at a Korean restaurant near our place. We have tried several already. This one specialises in Korean BBQ meats. The cuts are very good.

His boss loved the Damai tea that was served. Is damai wheatgrass? Don't know the English term.

He also ordered "stone pot rice" which is veggies, meat and rice cooked in a stone pot. I like the warm glow of charcoal (pic below).

We enjoyed the beef with golden needle mushrooms a lot, so we bought some fresh meat and mushroom from the market and did it ourselves (after the boss left, that is). I stir-fried them with some mexican peppers. Presentation looks horrible, but taste is ok.

This below is the Ultraman juice that ds2 has taken a liking to, and requests for it for snacktime in school everyday. It is 100% juice without sugar, preservatives or coloring. I hope the labels can be trusted because he drinks a packet of this every school day now.

A lot of pumpkins on sale now, not because of Halloween I think (they don't celebrate Halloween by carving pumpkins here, but they burn a lot of incence and paper money for the "dead below".)

So I bought some, and made pumpkin porridge. Haven't gotten an oven at that time, so no pumpkin cookies or pie like last year. ds1 likes it very much. Dh and ds2 wouldn't even have a spoonful. Why does every member in my family like different things? So difficult to cook.

Showing off my new Ikea platter, big enough for a large pizza. :-)

When Dh and the boss came back to Tianjin, he treated us to a dinner on his last night here. After the dinner, the kids were restless already. They had a whole day of school until 4.30pm for ds1 (after school activity) and their normal bedtime is before 8pm. But it was almost 9pm then. The boss and Dh were still discussing work, and there were too many people smoking around our table, so I excused the kids and myself and we waited in the lobby.

We befriended a Chinese boy, about 10 yrs old, who was waiting there alone. It should be his parents he was waiting for, because once in a while, a Chinese man, supposedly his dad, would come out to have a look at him.

Towards the end of the night, about 10pm, the 3 kids- my boys and him- were happily playing on the spiral stairway of the lobby. They played various games, of which the last one made them the happiest. They were so excited, chattering away in their broken Mandarin, with this big brother. The boy used a wooden pole (don't know where he got it from) to act as a gate to the stairway and the kids had to run up and down the stairs. Whenever they were coming down, to get the gate to open, they had to say a password in Chinese. When they wanted to go up, to get it to open, they needed to say another password in Chinese.

The boy will change the phrases periodically, and if my boys got a single word wrong, he will pin them down with the pole. Or the "gate" will "trap" them against the stairway barrier. This somehow made my boys very very excited and happy. The silly ones. Each time they got caught, they were so delirious.

I was a little amused, so I just sat there and watched them. The boy managed to teach my sons many Chinese phrases in an hour, not bad!

Pic shows ds1 in batman suit halfway down the stairs, and ds2 near the top. The 10 yr old boy at the bottom with the "gate".

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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