Today my University is coming to the end of 2½ days of Sports Meeting. It starts with marching and the singing of various patriotic songs. Then a selections of dance routines and leaders' speeches. Finally the athletic sports themselves take place, culminating in a tug-of-war competition. I've seen this sort of thing many times before, so I just enjoy the fact that my classes are cancelled and I get a few extra days off work!
Today, JD was added to JiaJia's registration papers to make him a full-registered Chinese citizen! He now has a "Hukou" which will allow him to get an ID card, access state schools and be insured. Most kids born in China do this within a few weeks being born, but JD's British passport complicated things and we delayed it. You see if you have a British passport, you can't get a British visa in your Chinese passport. And you can't leave China on your British passport because China doesn't recognise dual nationality (and being born in China makes JD Chinese as far as China is concerned). It was only in the last couple of months that these rules were relaxed, allowing JD to leave China on a temporary Permit regardless of him being fully registered. Confused? You're not the only one.
On arrival at school this morning, JD fixed me a stare and said, "I don't think I need a hug and kiss goodbye anymore. I'm a big boy now!". It is true that he is making friends more easily these days and is more likely to hop and skip into school rather than be weeping or making up reasons to stay home! Most recently his "best friends" have been Dada ("Big") and Xiaoxiao ("Small") - twins from his class [see above] who conveniently live just five minutes away. then But next week it may be somebody quite different!
What are you supposed to do when you get a text message from JD's Kindergarten at 9pm saying they want your child to do a science experiment (and take a photo of it) by tomorrow morning where you try to pop a water-filled balloon with a lighter? And you don't have any balloons. Or a lighter. And your child is already fast asleep in bed.
Answer? Grab an old photo of JD trying to blow out the candles on his birthday cake and superimpose a suitable picture from the internet. Thank goodness for Google Images, Photoshop and teachers who don't look too closely!
It was my birthday today. Once JD realised, he gave me a big hug and a kiss, and a "surprise" homemade card (which I'd helped him to make last week). It took the wife an hour after getting up to recall that this was my special day, but she is a bit poorly. We think she gave me an early present a few months in advance, but neither of us can remember what it was! Ma-in-law bought a cake. We all enjoyed a nice meal at a buffet hotpot midday and got the candles out in the evening. Add in a swim in the morning with JD and a bedroom den built in the afternoon and it was quite a fun day overall.
Another in my occasional series of "Flashbacks" looking back at blog entries made before this Weebly version started.
“So let’s see. After a month with a broken leg, how can we make Paul's final day in plaster just that little bit more annoying? I know, why don’t we paint the railings by the steps to his flat overnight? Then he’ll have to hop up the 85 steps without any way of balancing. And if we don’t tell him, he’ll get his hands and clothes all dirty before attending class. Silver shows up well, let’s paint them all silver. But maybe he’ll smell the new paint .... I know, let’s strike him down with a heavy cold overnight so he can’t smell a thing. In fact, the paint fumes might even contribute to his sore throat. Yes, that ought to do the job.”
About a month ago, JD decided he wanted to make a little shop "like mummy's" but for selling toys to his friends. So JiaJia went online and bought a variety of cheap toys (£4 total). JD and I decided on the prices and made boxes and signs for the various items.
Then, after school today, JD and I quickly set up shop outside the main gates. Within minutes a crowd of parents and children were surrounding us to have a look at the little foreigner showing his entrepreneurial skills! JD was quick to explain prices and give them the right change. By the end, 90% of the stock had been sold and JD made a tidy profit of just over £10!
JD and I went to a classmate's birthday celebration yesterday. We drove a little way out of the city to a large recreational area with restaurants, a sand pit, swings and these rather cool Mongolian yurts! The focus of the "party" was to climb a nearby mountain. 18 of us set off but only 5 made it to the top, including JD and I.
The views over Kunming were pretty impressive but emphasised once again, just what a polluted city it is - fairly clean by Chinese city standards, but still covered in a layer of smog.
By the time we returned down the mountain, we were pretty hungry. Undeterred by the goat carcasses and dead fish in the tanks, we really enjoyed a tasty banquet - 20 of us around a huge "lazy susan" rotating table. The kids then continued to play in the sand and on the swings followed by a birthday cake. JD is the youngest in his class - still 5½ while others are turning 6 - but he is still one of the "playmakers" when he gets together with his friends!
After a week at home with a nasty cough I finally got JD back to Kindergarten yesterday morning, only to be told he "still had a fever" (despite the nurse's thermometer showing a very normal reading of 37ºC) and so I had to take him home again! I cancelled his planned evening Halloween party and we spent another day together.
We decided to build a huge Halloween Den that he and I could both sleep in. So last night we had sausage sandwiches, doughnuts and sweets before some scary stories and off to sleep. I had to leave the den in the night with cramp, but JD slept on until morning!
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