[audio mp3="http://cherylpetty.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/月亮代表我的心.mp3"][/audio] Shortly after returning to Beijing, I went out to dinner with Yun and Yun and son to my favorite neighborhood restaurant. Wo hui Beijing yihou, wo qu yu Yun, Yun he erzi zuixiai de linli canting. We had chao fan -- fried rice Beijing style which is verylightly fried with peas and bits of scrambled egg, shala -- lettuce salad with cherry tomatoes, peanuts and bits of other greens, stir fried mushrooms and cabbage with lotus seed and water chestnut, and fried corn cakes cut into wedges and sprinkled with sugar. Wode chi chaofan, shala, mogu lianzi he ling jiao fan chao he bai cai.
Around 9pm, after relaxing at the table, we walked across the big highway Chendulu on the overhead pedestrian walkway to the massage clinic where Yun and I first met. We all got a massage while their son, James, watched cartoons. What a nice way to end the evening around 10pm.
When the Foreign Expert Office had ballet tickets this time, Dr Monica and I went together to get them. Jintian wan shang wo, Sumo he tade laogong qu kan balei. First we took the subway where we met Greg. Then the three of us took a cab to Tian Qiao Theatre. Wo xian zuo ditie. Women zai ditie shan jian Greg. Ranhou, women dache qu Tian Qiao. We saw Carmen and The Girl from Arles, by Frenchman Roland Petit, featuring the young dancers of the Chinese National Ballet. Preceding the performances, we saw a video of M Pettit, recently deceased, an aged but active ballet master instructing the youthful and agile dancers in his style. It was impossible to find a cab home, so we had to go back by bus to find a subway station and then home. We were tired when we finally arrived home at 11pm. http://www.ballet.org.uk/what-s-on/roland-petit.html
The next morning I managed to get up and out the door by 9am. My plan was to Chinese brush paint at the lotus pond on campus. Wo dasuan shi zai xiao yuan lide zai he hua chi, hua hua. Besides having many curious on-lookers, I completed four sketches of the lotus leaves, he ye, water, shui,reflections, dao ying, pavilion, tingzi he,willow trees, liu shu, and water skimmers,gerris gibbifer (latin).
Later Li Zhang came by my apartment to visit. This bright and accomplished young woman is research assistant to one of my ex-pat girlfriends, Sara, who is conducting research on anthropological economics, specifically the migrant girls working in the downtown market area. Later we had dinner at my favorite restaurant, and now I can tell you the name. Man Pen Xiang Shui Zhu Yu,Full Bowl Fragrant Boiled Fish, specializes in Sichuan style dishes cooked in an oil/water mixture with Chinese spices and chile pepper.
The longan is very similar to the lychee, also called Dragon's eye, with a hard, smooth, light brown outer shell, inside is a soft, juicy fruit like a grape with one large black seed. Great quantities of longan are imported to Beijing from Thailand. I see from looking online that the University of California is working on cultivation of these fruit, but they find it difficult for several reasons. Although not a picky as lychee as far as temperature, longans must be propagated by marcottage-- air layering-- and they have trouble inducing fruiting since California is an arid climate unlike monsoonal Thailand.
Over the weekend, my Puji apartment was the location for a cooking party. Shange zhomo wo de Puji gongyu de pengren dang. Bruce and Jerry are buddies from Shanxi province, and ZhiWei is a new friend of theirs in Beijing. A mountainous area and a major coal, iron and electric power production region.http://www.drben.net/ChinaReport/Shanxi_Province/Shanxi_Province-Index.html Shanxi is also filled with significant cultural heritage sites, including the Yungang Cloud Ridge Caves.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datong .
I met Bruce at the lotus pond at Tsinghua while I was brush painting. He is here in Beijing doing an internship year at Beijing University in the Total Immersion Program (TIP) http://www.tip.org.cn/ in co-operation with the State Foreign Expert Bureau, Federal Education Department and Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. He is an instructor in the program and is called LaoLi or Teacher Li. He will be taking his final exam in January at Shanxi Agricultural University founded 1907http://www1.sxau.edu.cn/foreign/ejianjie.htmwhere he will graduate with a BS degree in molecular biology. Click onhttp://blog.sina.com.cn/actionslee to see Bruce's blog.
Jerry is in graduate school at Beijing Language and Culture University, studying to be an English teacher. Here is his school link and class schedule. http://www.blcu.edu.cn/blcuweb/english/index-en.asp ; Intercultural communication, Classical literature, Modern Chinese, English, Chinese composition, Teaching investigation and case analysis, Second language teaching, Chinese art and history, Linguistics and Chinese political system. Jerry sent me the attached mp3 called "Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin" "The Moon is like my Heart" and I thought I would share it with you. I thought the melody sounded a little like Debbie Reynolds singing "Tammy."
ZhiWei is working at ChinaLife. ZhiWei's company http://www.chinalife.com.cn/publish/English/356/index.html/ . ZhiWei's parents have a restaurant back in Shanxi.
We feasted on dishes meticulously prepared by the young men. There was Hong shao quieziShanxi sweet eggplant fried with onion, sugar and fish sauce followed by Xi Hong shi chao zi dan stir fried tomato and eggs seasoned with salt, pepper berry and garlic.. Lastly,Da zha hui veggie medley with fu zhu dried bean curd sheet, la jiao red pepper, lu dou jiao green beans.mogu mushroom.
I have included a jpg of Wu Dan, my language teacher at That's Mandarin. http://www.thatsmandarin.com/ When I started 4 months ago, Mr Monica and I were going to nearby Wudaokou but suddenly they announced the classes were being consolidated with another campus near Dongmenzhan in the old downtown of Beijing. Now we get up on Saturday at 6am and take the subway, grab some interesting breakfast on the sidewalk on the way to TM, arriving by 8am. Meige xingqiliu wo dou zai That's Mandarin. Meige xingqiliu wo dou shang hanyu ke. Ni lai TM fangbian ma? Xiayu de shihou wo buzhidao fan bu fangbian. Is it convenient to come to TM? When it is raining, I don't know how convenient it will be.
This weekend was the Mid Autumn Festival or Moon Festival, Zhongiu, a 3,000 year old asian moon worship rite originating in the Shang Dynasty 16-11th century BCE. It coincides with the autumnal equinox when the moon is at its fullest. Traditional food, the mooncake, comes in many varieties. Being a legal holiday, we get a 3-day holiday and will return to work on Tuesday. Similar to our American Thanksgiving, farmers celebrate the end of the fall harvest and is a traditional time for families to come together and share a meal.
The young men from Shanxi wanted to invite me to celebrate with them, all of us being far away from family. We went to Grandma's Kitchen on the 5th floor of Hualian mall. Wode qu Grandma's Kitchen, hualian shangchang di 5 ceng. ZhiWei was stuck in rain for 1/2 hour and couldn't get a cab. A friend of Jerry's, Helen, joined us. She is also studying to be an English teacher.
The menu at Grandma's is mostly American. I ordered French Fries and a Corona, Helen tried a Quesadilla with salsa, Jerry and Bruce had strawberry and pineapple ice cream sundaes with mooncakes and chocolates. We talked about movies and music, Chinese and American customs.
Afterwards we went to the 1st floor -- shoes -- where they helped me find a sensible pair of shoes for the fall season, flat heeled short boots good for bicycling and subway travel in the rain. Later we all walked the short distance to Jerry's school. It stopped raining. Jintian xiayule danshi xianzai buxia le. The Beijing Language and Culture University, founded in 1962, has 20,000 students at its small campus next to Tsinghua University. You can compare this to Yale Universit It has a darling, intimate lotus pond and wall with the names in Chinese of all the countries from which students have come to study here, 175. I got home before dark.
Many people have asked why I don't use web hosting for my blog. One reason is that this way I am avoiding increased scrutiny from dage, Big Brother. Another reason is that I want to keep control over the content. I am happy to have you forward these emails to your friends, and add anyone who sends me an email asking to be on the distribution list. There is a possibility that I will want to use them for future projects after my return to the US, and I want to retain my copyright ownership. If I published them on the world wide web that would be nearly impossible. Thank you for your understanding.
Hui tou jian