My mom arrived for a week’s visit this past Sunday. The pleasure of having her in town is immeasurable. Seeing her hold my son Kai invokes feelings in me I have never felt before: happiness in its purest form. I am so fortunate and grateful that Kai has family that truly love him. In her first couple of days we wanted to take it easy on my mom, and give her time to recover from her jet lag; here’s the rundown on our lazy, local, downtown itinerary.
After she arrived on Sunday, we went to Lady’s Street and stopped by the fish and flower market. She flirted with parrots which is one of her favorite things to do.
Monday was her first full day in Beijing. We woke up early and enjoyed Kai-time, watching him run like crazy around the house in his little walker. Next we headed over to the International Newcomers Network Arrival Survival meeting. It was packed with expats new and old, and it seemed everyone was having a great time. If you can make next month’s event, it’s all about medical and health care options in Beijing. Unfortunately, we brought Kai with us and it was too loud for him in the event hall to stay. Next time I’ll come baby-free.
After the event my mother, Kai and I walked along some random back streets and ended up eating lunch at a local restaurant. With a long wait outside the restaurant we were ready to dig our teeth in. Without knowing manyu is eel, I ordered the dish, apparently the restaurant’s specialty, on the recommendation of a neighboring table. In my eight years in Beijing this was my first time eating braised eel. We had a blast being the only waiguoren in the place, grappling with the nose-to-tail eel like the total novices we are. My mom was border line horrified.
After lunch we walked along the river in the rain and once on Chunxiulu popped into the local vegetable market right by the Jing Ke Long. Though it’s the nearest fruit and vegetable shop to our home in Seasons Park our ayi refuses to shop there: it’s too grubby for her. My mom had a great time taking pictures of the whole chickens and giant squash. We came home and both Kai and my mother were so exhausted they fell asleep immediately. Sounds like a perfect entry day into China to me. Welcome Grandma!
Photos: Theresa Pauline