Old and new
JD and I played a couple of games of Risk the other day. But HOW ON EARTH does my computer know that?? The online adverts for Risk starting just 24 hours after we first played! Scary!
Hare today, gone tomorrow
JD was greeted by a couple of random rabbits on his return to school yesterday! What with COVID and Winter holiday, it's his first day in class for about five months.
Apparently the Government have told his Primary School that they have too many students for Health and Safety reasons, so the current 2500 students will be gradually reduced to 1000 or so over coming years!
Write back to school
JD's holiday homework and review papers have been ramping up this week as he's back to school next week and looking at taking his end-of-term exams, which were postponed from last semester due to the COVID school closure.
He goes to a private homework class most days and Jiajia gives him extra help where she can. JD only has about a year of Chinese education to go, so it's important to take this opportunity to make his reading and writing as solid as possible before our move to the UK next year.
Driving faster passed her
Yesterday, we met up with friends to show them where we do our fossil hunting. After a nice lunch together at a countryside home/restaurant we headed up the hill with our hammers and brushes! We all managed to find some fossils, but the newcomers got the best of the bunch...
JD saw a crowd looking up in the sky the other day, and followed their line of sight to spot these rather amazing clouds! Apparently they are called "Mother-of-pearl" formations and are a very rare sight.
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.
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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