Minor Difficulties

Subway poster: Ex-Knick Steven Marbury leads the triumphant Beijing Ducks

Though as temporary Beijingers/ex-New Yorkers  we may hold our heads a little higher since ex-Knick Steven Marbury led his new team to victory in the Chinese Basketball Association finals a few weeks ago, life is still always just a little harder than usual:

1) Making week-end morning pancakes

Add a few extra steps. Like going online to convert 2.75 cups milk to 650 ml. And soaking the strawberries in a dilute of Betadine disinfectant, rinsing with (yes, overkill) bottled water we then filter and boil. I hope this works; the embassy doc recommends bleach solution instead.

If it sound mildly traumatized…it’s the latest food-safety scandal. This week’s was gelatin rendered from used shoe leather, containing poisonous chromium, found in Chinese jellies and [gelatin] medicine capsules. Making the pharmacy we brought in a suitcase look a little less paranoid.

British School Bears beat the Canadian School Thurs.; Kenny scored three 2-pointers.

2) Salad-as-birthday-dinner

Celebrating Ethan’s late-birthday, we let him order a salad!! The first raw, unpeeled vegetable in 8 months. We just broke down. Look how happy he looks! Current plan is an an all-salad lifestyle back in America. At least for 3 days.

3) The Birthday Party Invitation Supplement.

Instructions and maps are involved, in English, pinyin (transliteration), and Mandarin characters, because Beijing is so hard to navigate. So for Ethan’s party in a park (sadly, rained out today) we distribute this:

RITAN PARK 日坛公园  – Party location. Home to the Temple of the Sun.

6 Ritan Beilu, Chaoyangmenwai,朝阳门外日坛北路6

8561 6301

STONE BOAT CAFÉ  石舫  –    For 9 am drop off & 2pm pick-ups:

MAP: http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/listings/nightlife/bars/has/stone-boat-bar/

Southwest corner of Ritan Park, Lakeside, Beijing


Chāoyáng qū Rìtán gōngyuán lǐ, húbiānJianWai Street

Near: Guanghu lu & YaBao lu
+86 10 6501 9986

ANNIE’S RESTAURANT – Lunch spot, for 1 pm pick-ups:

MAP: http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/listings/dining/italian/has/ritan/

Ritan Park and Yabao Lu 日坛公园雅宝路

Unit 2-3-93, Ritan Highlife, (opposite north gate of Ritan Park), 39 Shenlu Jie, Chaoyang District

39 Shenlujie, Ritan High Life 2-3-93,   Vicinity: Ritan

Across from Ritan Park North Gate
日坛公园北门对面       8569-3031    www.annies.com.cn


Beijing is about as good as it gets right now.

Flowering cherry trees, lilacs, wisteria, tulips – spring at the Forbidden City & Jingshan Park.

Sorry no posts….Report coming on Qingdao (of beer fame) & its well-cared-for eastern province of Shandong, home to more Party officials than any other province. Big report to come on The Great Sage Confucius, whose hometown was one huge lesson in filial piety. More soon on the calisthenics TV show we like to call, “Exercise With Happy Minorities.”

And on my students, who are writing what they know: Living in Foxcomm dorm as a line worker. Being the left-behind lonely child of a migrant worker. Seeing your best friend’s dad jailed for corruption. Astonishing. Have a lovely week-end!

3 comments on “Minor Difficulties

  1. Dave Kennedy says:

    I’ve been reading Peter Hessler since my first time to China in 1997. Then he became married to Leslie Chang and I read her book: Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China. You would enjoy it.


  2. Doris says:

    Jill – you look great! Happy Birthday Ethan, hope you had a great day. Congrats Kenny on the win. Keep having fun!
    All’s well here. Dan and Heidi set wedding date: Dec. 30 at her house.
    Aunt Doris


  3. Zachary Rich says:

    Zach says: Happy Birthday Ethan! That’s a lot of work just to make pancakes. Hope the salad didn’t make you sick.


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