Saturday morning we called my grandparent using Skype on my iPod…just figured that one out…and it’s so cool! It costs about 40 cents/15 minutes which is way better than what I paid using our landline when I first came to China. That was about $30 for half an hour!
After getting dressed we headed down the street to get on the subway and begin our hour long journey over to The Place in the Chao Yang district. We got off at Silk Street and then walked the remaining 15 minutes to get to the ritzy shopping center which has some play areas on the fouth floor. However, we first did some shopping at Silk Street because I realized that his waterbottle was gone so bargained to get a new one…started at 90 yuan and paid 50. Then bought two bags to help bring our stuff home in and because I do need a new bag. Ate another turkey sub at Subway; so yummy!
Nathaniel spent 2 hours playing in a ball pit and jumping thing and building blocks and about ten other things. We first went there at Easter as it was rainy and my friend’s home is not the best place for an active toddler. I bought a card for five visits, thus getting a bit of a discount per visit and this was our third visit. He hated the ball pit the first time. Cried when I put him in. Now he loves it. He was also able to play on most of the toys all by himself and was happy to wander off by himself. A little too happy to do it as I was constantly “loosing” him even though I was trying to pay attention while knitting.
It is an enclosed place but I’m sure kids can easily slip out since there aren’t all that many staff watching them. One parent is allowed in during “holidays” and two can go in during “non-holidays.” It was pretty full of people, but I always found a place to sit while he played.
After two hours at The Place we headed back to the subway and after an hour long ride, standing since men don’t seem to care about the announcements to let women and children have seats, we did grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner. He became very fussy and while I was looking around for vodka, to make vanilla, he fell asleep.
Once done, we headed out of the huge, part underground complex and I had some ice cream from Dairy Queen while he slept and I contemplated how I would manage to walk three blocks back to the subway and get through security while carrying a sleeping three year old who seems to gain weight by the day. Outside, his shoe fell off and I was scolded by an elderly woman for letting his ankle be exposed to the cold. Sometime after getting on the subway he woke up and we got off and walked home without much trouble. I rarely bother with keeping up my usual exercise routine in Beijing since taking the subway gets me plenty of exercise, especially when you half to transfer lines and walk about half a mile. I’ve never measured it, but honestly think that’s a good estimate of the distance.
Nathaniel and I had a fun long weekend in Beijing. After getting in on Thursday night we ate dinner at an Italian restaurant and then went shopping at Jenny Lou’s, a small supermarket chain that specializes in imported groceries. I finally got vanilla beans to try making my own vanilla. A jar of 2 beans from Madagascar cost the same as 2 ounce bottle of imitation vanilla.
Friday morning we went to the preschool where my friends teach and Nathaniel did pretty well being that it was a new place, with lots of cool things he’s never seen before, and that it was all in English and there are different rules and procedures. I stayed with him and had to help him focus during the longer lessons, about 20 minutes. Not sure exactly what things are like at his school, but I am positive that it’s very different. He ate lunch with the seven other kids, ages 3-6, and then helped them set up their cots for naptime. We left to play at the park for awhile and then went home.
Dinner that night was at Subway where he had his 5th or 6th taste of turkey. He didn’t want to eat his half as a sandwich but rather in layers, asking for the meat first. I gave it to him and said to eat the turkey. He asked if it really was meat. YES! Apparently I haven’t conveyed exactly what a turkey is or is used for. It was only five pm and the restaurant was empty except for one other table of people drinking tea and using their computers. At one point I noticed him staring at the counter and turned to see what was so interesting. There was a foreign guy. I told Nathaniel that he should keep eating and not stare when he innocently asked me who the guy was. I said that I don’t know him and told him to eat a layer of vegetables.
Later it occured to me that he might think that I know anyone who is not Chinese, since whenever we see non-Chinese people at home I know who they are! Twice over the weekend we saw several people with black skin and very dark skin and I was wondering what he’d say about them since I’m the only non-yellow person he sees on a daily or even regular basis. He didn’t seem to notice them, so we’ll just have to wait. I only hope his questions, if spoken in English around the people in question, are said with genuine inquiry and not like the stories I’ve heard about how Chinese kids react to dark skinned, non-Chinese people.Filed under Holidays | Tags: Beijing, holidays | Comment (0)