Yesterday I had a message from Denise, who works in the library here in the college, with a picture of an English book she found in the library!! Would you believe - Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence. She is going to borrow it for me. I did tell her that it might be a pretty heavy-going classic, but I would love to have a go at it. So we arranged to meet at 4pm, in the car park, before she goes to collect Qianyu from kindergarten.
This afternoon I messaged her early, to see if she would like me to spend some time with Qianyu while Denise finishes her work. She did say that if I liked it, she would really appreciate it.
On the way down to meet up, I could see many, many marquees set up on the basketball courts. I think there is going to be a job promotion tomorrow. Looks like the students are going to have lots of information to absorb.
Denise and I headed off to the special needs kindergarten. Qianqian does not usually go there on a Friday, but she is preparing for a production that they are putting on, on January 19. She is very confident with me now, which is lovely. Even though we have absolutely no language in common, she is pretty perceptive.
On the way to the kindergarten, I was moaning about the difficulty of getting tickets, and how I hoped I could get tickets in the morning. And, now with Denise's help, I think I understand the system. Train tickets are released on a prescribed date, for online bookings. But that is not all the available tickets. Ticket agents also get tickets allocated to them, so even though their booking don't open until two later than the online bookings, there are still tickets available for purchase. So now I feel a little more hopeful about my chances tomorrow!
On our way back to school, Denise asked me if there was anything in China that I simply could not eat. I told her my experience trying to eat snake years ago, and the fact that I could chew it, and actually enjoy the flavour, but no way could I swallow it!! She said that like me, she could not eat dog or cat, but can eat rat!! Oh my God. No!! Not for me. Although I have seen meat rats at a place in a small village, so they are bred for eating, and it is not the wild dirty rats that they are eating. But still, for me - no way!
When we got back to the college, Denise headed back up to the 13th floor, to the library, and Qianqian and I went looking for some cookies for her. We had to go outside, and over the main road, to find a convenience store, and came away with two packets of biscuits.
Qianqian has been learning to say the numbers in English, and is pretty good up to ten. So I had her counting bikes for a start - there were four of those, then motorbikes - I think there were seven, and cars actually made it up to 13. She is not good with numbers over ten, so that was a bit of a challenge, but she listens and tries hard.
We found a spot for me to sit, near the running track and attacked our snacks. Qianqian took off with a biscuit in each hand, and ran a lap of the track, before coming back for a re-fill. Then she did another lap, in pretty fast time. She certainly has some energy to burn after a day at kindy!!
It was pretty cold, and I got to feeling frozen, so we went up in the lift to the 13th floor. As the lift went up, I reminded her of the numbers in English. Her pronunciation is not all that good, but she is getting better. She knows which floor her Mummy works on, and how to find her, of course.
I wandered around the library, and what torture that is for a book lover like me. Nothing to read!! Of course, just about all the books are in Chinese. I can't even guess at the topics, let alone the content! But I did find one, all in English, but in such professional medical terminology that I would really struggle to read!!
When it was time for Denise to knock off, she asked if I wanted to have dinner with them. Gary is having dinner at the college tonight, and may be late home. We tossed up with going to Spango Pizza, but decided not to, because of the traffic at that time of night. In the end, we went to the He Hua (Lotus) Restaurant. We both like it, and it is much easier to get to, without having to go through the city centre.
I showed Qianqian some photos of Joy, and she was intrigued. Joy is just days older than Qianyu. I think they are doing very similarly in their writing. I had a photo of a card that Joy wrote for her Dad for Xmas, and Qianqian had been writing numbers down on a piece of paper. They seem to be similarly skillful with a pencil.
Once she saw the photo of Joy's writing, Qianqian methodically set about copying it out on a little bit of paper. She was really enjoying doing it, and did pretty well!!
Denise drove me back to the college, before heading home. She had called Gary to see if he was ready to be picked up, but he was going to be late, so she left him to his own devices as far as getting home!! Sounds like it could be a late night for him!!
It is much easier after dinner, for Denise to get back to her house, without the traffic jams around the dinner/after work crowds in the city.