Farewell until Jan. 3 and wish us luck…It’s a 27-hour soft-sleeper train to Chengdu in Sichuan. After pandas & local sights, plan is 4 days on the Tibetan plateau, in villages &, if all goes well, a homestay with nomads where we are told the kids can help herd the yaks. If they (or I) get altitude sickness, up above 11,000′, we’ll do day trips from an “edge” town lower down.
Holiday Peking duck dinner (with the kohanic children and Fulbrighter Mark Hursty–RISD/Brown!–a glass artist at Alfred, doing the Fulbright at Tsinghua U, promoting collaboration in studio glass blowing with Beijing’s burgeoning contemporary Chinese art movement) was at Yan Can Cook, owned by the chef with the tv show. The slow-paced, family-style turntable service was, again, impossible for the kids to withstand (spinning, grabbing, impatience), even though it must’ve been the 99th time, incentives & punishments were in place, lectures had been given beforehand, and I didn’t send them in hungry. People seem to be getting used to them, I guess. The educational-exchange official who once commented, “Can we get them a padded room?” was there and thank god, the “padded room” line has at least turned into a running joke.
Mark and his wife will housesit our apt & I look forward to a deeper understanding of the art scene here, through him, this spring.
A very merry Kohanic Chinese Christmas to all.