We do GuanDu
We headed to GuanDu today - a half hour drive from our hotel. It brought back many memories of visiting there with various friends and UK family. It was busy with many visitors - but no other foreigners!
At one temple we visited, JD received an impromptu blessing from one of the staff [above left]. He later spent a happy hour chipping out a "fossil" while Jiajia painted a plaster-cast statue.
We also tried to visit the temple below, where Jiajia and I first chatted about "being in a relationship", but it was closed for repairs!
JD and I spent another fun afternoon playing Dungeons and Dragons with a handful of English-speaking Chinese players the other day. Despite playing for nearly 4 hours, we only got half-way through the planned adventure so we will probably be heading back in a week or two.
The highlight of the adventure this time was defeating a half dozen "shark-men" who dared to attack our ship!
The game is hosted in a pizza restaurant. JD and I usually have a meal there after the game is over. It fortifies us for the 1½ hour trip each way on two buses.
Robin' a customer
One of Jiajia's customers gave a Batmobile Technic Lego set to her young adult son as a gift. He tried to build it for over a month and finally gave up. So the customer said that JD could keep it if he could finish it. Three days later....
Yes, I suspect it did...
Happy Chinese New Year! JD had a blast (literally) yesterday night setting off his huge collection of fireworks.
...the foot of mercy
Pranking or spanking?
Last night, as I was going to sleep, JD told me that he was planning a prank or two for me today. I didn't really take a lot of notice as I was sleepy. But this morning, when I got up my slippers had disappeared. When I switched my computer on I found the desktop background had been changed! I made myself a coffee but after a sip I realised that the milk had garlic powder in it! I grabbed my water bottle to wash out the taste and found it contained salt water.
An alarm went off behind my computer. This drew my attention to one of the photos on the wall in the office which now had my head 5x bigger on it. I've been well and truly tricked this morning with no real guarantee I've found them all! Now, do I prank him or spank him in revenge?
Makino the most of it
JD was invited to "Makino Play Park" the other day by a couple of his classmates. It was a 1½ drive into the countryside - a camping and animal petting area near a large lake.
Half of the park seemed to be still under construction, but JD and his friends enjoyed feeding and playing with the emus, donkeys, llamas, chickens, pigs and - especially - the rabbits.
Bitey the bullet
Farewell to "Bitey" who finally died yesterday after nearly 3 years - a long life for a dwarf hamster. As it was me who looked after him (JD lost interest a few months in!) It'll be odd not to feed him each morning or save him leftover pieces of vegetables. RIP Bitey!
A lot of Chinese people (including my rather too gullible wife) have been buying and wearing these pouches which claim to protect the wearer from catching COVID or any other viruses. As if...
A quick check online demonstrated that it is not only useless, but actually quite dangerous to the wearer (both the chemicals inside the pouch and the false feeling of immunity it confers). Banned in most western countries, it's still selling well in crazy China!!
Reverting to type
One of JD's Christmas presents was a Lego typewriter. He started it by himself, but struggled a little when the various moving parts and gears needed to be constructed. So we decided to finish it together.
When, some 6 months ago, a Chinese ex-colleague contacted me asking if I'd be willing to record myself reading out some listening exercises he'd written for his students, I said I'd be happy to help. Then he casually mentioned there was at least fifty of them...
After recording them all (plus a further 20 he had decided to rewrite) I thought I'd heard the last of the little task. Then, a few days ago, a package arrived for me containing copies of a Chinese textbook. It turned out that he'd decided to actually publish the exercises for his students to use, including QR codes to scan so that my voice could be heard reading them! "Story 1" is even based around me! So I guess I now qualify as a famous (nearly) voice actor.
Not a lotta plot
JD and I went to the cinema to watch "Avatar 2" this afternoon. We took our masks just in case, but in fact there was only one other person in the theatre with us!
As expected, the film was a visual feast. Not much story, to be fair, but the world-building was exceptional and the final hour was non-stop action. JD and I loved it, and the 3¼ hours felt more like ....3 hours.
202free from COVID?
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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