Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ni hau

We’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front (despite my resolutions to keep it regularly updated), thanks to China’s censorship board.

A quick stopover in Singapore to see our friends Akhila, Kathy and Richard was well worth it.   Have you eaten Kathy’s roast pork and dried prawn sambal? 

We left all our warm winter gear in Singapore - all those Merino wool pullovers we bought in New Zealand waiting to be used for our first winter in Paris – and picked up the more summery stuff we had left with them earlier.  Clever organization, huh?  The thing was though, after three weeks in NZ, we realized that we tended to actually wear the same things repeatedly.  We did laundry whenever we could, at friends’ or at coin laundry machines in camper vans holiday parks.

The transition from NZ, a country of 4 million people to Beijing, a city of 14 million people, was a little brutal.  Streams, lakes and mountains were replaced with skyscrapers, shops, and masses of people.  Rolex and Cartier popped up every 200 metres near the hotel we were staying at (JB was rather nervous but lucky for him I was very very restrained).

A work acquaintance of JB’s, a lovely Madame Luo, took us to the oldest Peking duck restaurant in Beijing.  Then a walk near a lake for candy floss and ice cream and a ride on a boat with a beautiful young lady playing on the traditional Chinese pipa.  Multitudes of people thronged the streets and cafes filled out, bands and aspiring singers at karaoke contributed to the vibrant noise.  And it was only a Tuesday night.

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