Long weekend of fun

Two weekends ago, was a four day weekend. Friday was a teacher work day for my school and Monday was a national holiday, Labor Day. Mom didn’t have to work Monday and my dad never works.

The fun started on Thursday at my school. A violin performance for the primary grades. Year 1 (kindergarten), Year 2 (1st grade) and Y3 (2nd) are all forced to take violin lessons. I don’t really like it but we play a few songs I already know on the guitar. (Twinkle, the May song). I told my parents I wasn’t going to play but would “fake play.” Below are the year 1 students:

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Can you find me? Kinda like SNL’s find the Pope in the pizza contest.

Friday, we went out to eat to celebrate the weekend but first we three walked over to a nearby neighbors house. Few neighbors have a Friday routine, kinda like our street back home in Seattle. Folks come outside, bring chairs, beverages and food to share. When we arrived, they were seated, drinking beer and wine and setting up the BBQ. We didn’t stay to eat but listened to the band play a few songs. These guys are really good. Dad said they played, “when the saints go marching in.”

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Saturday, we all slept in. Yippee! And then I got to go over to another neighbors and help her and her daughter make a pumpkin pie for our “Thanksgiving in May”dinner. Elsa’s parents froze an extra turkey back at Thanksgiving and decided to defrost it and serve a full turkey dinner for a few select neighbors. Dad said, “we made the cut” and received an invitation.

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Searching for a dessert to bring, dad couldn’t find any ‘moon’ pies but found these.

The dinner was a full Thanksgiving dinner; turkey, gravy, some sort of icky casserole thing, beans, potatoes and two pumpkin pies I helped make. I tried to focus on just eating the starches. My parents were not happy.

Far from over, the weekend continued with the next day being the national holiday. Way back, when I was really small, mom and dad hosted a Chinese grad student from Beijing studying at the UW. We picked him up at the airport and he stayed with us for a few days until he found an apartment. Really nice guy, I liked him. We saw him throughout that year and even met his daughter when she visited in the summer. Kept in touch and now we live in his town so he invited us to spend the day with he and his daughter (who is now 8) at a shiny, fancy mall.

Since the air can be so bad, and the Chinese love to shop, they have built numerous HUGE malls. They can spend the day inside, away from the pollution. This was called Parkview Green. This place has several art exhibits, a maze, food court, movie theater, a giant blow up monkey and about one hundred shops.

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The green is the human maze. Tons-o-fun.

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I liked the room with the shark skeletons.

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We spent the entire day at this mall. Ate at the food court, noodles of course. Played in the maze, looked for the lego shop and mom tried on some really expensive sun glasses. Roman’s daughter and I had fun playing together. Her English is better than my Chinese.

Dad said the mall had a Stellar McCartney shop that he wanted to check out to see if Sir Paul was hanging about. Not sure what he was talking about but he didn’t buy anything and didn’t find anyone.

Dad was also excited today because IT WAS RAINING. Real rain. He kept saying, “this is the first real rain we’ve had since we moved to Beijing almost four months ago”. He was so thrilled he took this picture for the historical record:

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Rain, I don’t mind.

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