I turned on the TV this afternoon, on the 80th anniversary of the Japanese invasion and massacre in Nanjing, on December 13, 1937. Nanjing was then the capital of China, and over 300,000 were brutally murdered over a period of a few weeks. I've been watching a Chinese channel, called China Global Television Network - CGTN. It presents - in English - a lot of great documentaries, mostly set in Asia, Africa and South America. It is amazing what you can learn though. And the programmes are very well made, and so educational. Eighty years ago,...Jump to full entry
Dec 12, 2017 - Got all kitted up for our trip to the icy north.
Well, even without an alarm, I got up at a reasonable time today. A small miracel to most people, but perhaps a quite big one to me! This apartment is so dark, with no real daylight, that my sleep patterns are even more out of whack than usual! I put on the pork bones to cook, and prepared all the vegetables, to add to the mix later on. And then I even swept and mopped the floors. I can't believe how much fur Hugo loses every day. But at least it is done again, for today. Melrose was planning to come over this way later on, but firstly she...Jump to full entry
Dec 11, 2017 - Reassurance from Nicole!
I set off this morning, filled with trepidation, hoping that I can manage the visit to the police station, without too much difficulty. The only difficulty will be managing language barriers. I took my crochet with me, as I presumed I would have some waiting time, during the process. My first stop was to the office, to see if Nicole was going to be available if I needed to phone her this afternoon. She looked at my passport, and decided to advise me to do nothing. They have made a mistake, and the visa in my passport is going to override...Jump to full entry
Dec 10, 2017 - Curry lunch at Spango Pizza with Larry and Melrose.
Late morning, I had a call from Melrose, to say she was meeting Larry for lunch, and asking if I would like to join them. I had not long woken up, so I said that I might be a while, but I would be there. Larry has recently returned from a few weeks in the US. He has been around Zhaoqing for many years now, and will probably be here for a lot longer. I am not sure how he gets around the legalities regarding visas and residency status, but I guess he knows what he is doing. Melrose and I had already decided to try Spango's chicken and potato...Jump to full entry
This morning I headed out to a travel agent, to find out when I can book tickets for our epic train journey to the north of China in February. I can only book the first ticket on January 6, which is 28 days ahead of our planned departure. I am a little worried, as I am really hoping now that I can get tickets!! Oh well, must just leave it in the lap of the Gods I suppose. Perhaps I will look into online booking, where they will take your request, and book the tickets as soon as it opens. But this comes at a cost. I will need to weigh up the...Jump to full entry
Dec 8, 2017 - Solved the mystery of the real estate agency ads.
Before heading out early evening, to get some groceries, I had to go to the bank to withdraw cash. I was very annoyed when a young woman pulled up, right in front of me, on her electric bike. She was right over the doorway into the ATMs, and when I went into the cubicle, she actually pushed past me to get to the ATM first. Sorry to say, but on this occasion, I pushed back, stood my ground, with a very stern look on my face, and exclaimed 'Excuse Me'. I think I said it all in capital letters. Anyway she backed off, and I did my business,...Jump to full entry
Dec 7, 2017 - Music fountain again.
I'd had a quiet day, sleeping way too late, and just hanging out! But I had a message from Melrose, seeing if I was coming in to town. I was going to meet her and Kevin, near the night market street, but it took ages to get a bus, and by the time I caught up with them, it was time for Kevin to go off for his class. Melrose and I wandered along Duanzhou Lu, past where my good friend Michael Lee used to have his shop, and found a Xi'an restaurant, and discovered the delicious hamburger type fast food that I had eaten on my very first visit to...Jump to full entry
Dec 6, 2017 - Another pair of shoes from Jieway.
I was home for most of the day, until early evening, when it was time to go back and see if the next pair of shoes was going to fit me. Scott called in during the day, and I told him about our new shop discovery. He said that he will go there, and see if he can find some shoes for himself. But, I heard from him later, that the only ones he could get on, only just fit, and he needed a size bigger. And also no-one was there to speak English! A little difficult for him, but I said I would make enquiries later in the day, when I went...Jump to full entry
This was going to be a great outing, and it did not disappoint in any way! I was to meet Winnie at 3pm, and that meant that Melrose could join us too. She is going to take us around the old wall, and tell us some of the history, and the new developments. I arrived in good time, but Melrose was running late, waiting for an elusive bus. The #4 seems to be rather irregular, but it gets to where we need to get! I did not need to worry, as Winnie rang to say she was also running late, as she had taken a taxi to collect her Mum. She wants to join...Jump to full entry
Dec 4, 2017 - Day for cooking, but no class for me today.
I got totally domesticated today, doing mundane chores like washing, mnaking the bed, etc. But I did something quite unusual for here! I actually put stewing beef on to cook up. Just beef, with onion, garlic and carrot, and also a few tomatoes out of the fridge, which needed using up. It simmered away for a few hours, before tenderizing nicely. I used stock which had been in the fridge, since I boiled up the bones the other day, to make the karekare. I had all the vegetables out of the fridge prepared to pop in at the last minute, and spuds...Jump to full entry
Dec 3, 2017 - Dinner with Cheer, Xiao Hong and Mei Xuan.
Cheer had arranged for us to catch up at the Northern (Lotus) Restaurant just up the road, and he had invited Scott along to join us. I wanted his assistance to work out train schedules, fares, booking etc., as I found I was floundering through Chinese rail websites! During the day I went and got some grocery, meat and veges from Walmart nearby. On the way I stopped in to KFC to grab one of their pannini rolls. It is pretty yummy, and costs the grand sum of 13rmb. A pannini roll, with cheese, ham, tomato and scrambled egg. Very nice little...Jump to full entry
I had a pretty slack sort of a day, sleeping, reading, crocheting, and generally just hanging out. I was to meet Gary at the front of the college at 5.15, and I was really looking forward to that. He was one of my favourite colleagues, when I worked here. A lovely, easy-going sort of a guy. When he got to the gate to meet me, he told me he had an activity to attend, before we headed off for dinner, with his wife and daughter. I was a little intimidated at the whole family thing, as I was unsure of language difficulties. The activity he...Jump to full entry