When our ayi walks in around 8:00 am, she’s talking to her daughter, Lilly. Lilly updates me on her mom’s work schedule over the next week. China has a national “Labor Day” holiday May 1, but her mom is going to visit relatives out of Beijing on Monday, April 27. She’s going to swap out her holiday for Monday, April 27, and work on “Labor Day”. Lilly is also letting me know her brother wants an iPhone. She heard from her mom I was going back to the US and they’re much cheaper when purchased in the US. I’ve done this for her the last four times we’ve been back to the US. Her family is pretty current on Apple technology by now. They pay me back for the phone when I return to Beijing.
After we get everything straight on holidays and iPhones, I walk to the subway for the trip to the Beijing South train station. I’m going to buy my train tickets for next week. I could purchase them online, but there’s a service fee, and I want to make sure I know my way around the station if I’m running late next week. I’m also getting an idea on how long the trip will take. The train to Suzhou will depart at 7:00 am and I won’t have much of a chance for a mistake.
It took one hour from the apartment door to the top of the escalator, entering the train station. That’s about what I expected. I wasn’t expecting how huge and confusing the station would be. When we traveled on the APEC holiday to Shanghai in November, we arrived in a taxi. I thought we had seen the station. Wrong! There’s another huge level below everything we saw before with too many eateries to count.
I found a ticket office, made my purchase, and headed back to the subway. The whole adventure took 2 ½ hours. Next was a swim session followed by lunch. Lilly’s mom was finished when I got back from swimming. I planned on going over to the table tennis park, but it’s too windy. I end up working on a school presentation for the 12 graders.
The school emailed asking if I could do a 2-hour session on college life, as it relates to football games, etc. I found a few things to add to what I already have, and called it an afternoon.
It’s Wednesday, so the “foodie” group from my school is heading to a burger place. The destination is Slow Boat Brewpub. I’ve heard and read about it before. I kept hearing it was in the middle of a hutong. They weren’t kidding. I could have never found it without someone leading us. It was way down a narrow alley, and the sign on the non-descript door was small. The burger was really good, as well as the fries. There were five of us, and we had a great evening of enjoying the food and solving life’s problems475