Today’s plan is to begin the sorting of clothes. We need to make the final decision on what is actually going into our suitcases, and what will be shipped. It’s certainly easier for me than for Judy. Cambodia and Thailand involve mostly summer touring clothes and beachwear. The cruise complicates things because of the need to have a few nicer clothes for dinnertime and the evening shows.
We do get a nice break in the evening. Alexis, one of Judy’s closest friends at BISS and her husband Scott are celebrating 15 years of being together. They dated long distance for 6 years (New York/Chicago, China/Chicago, Spain/Washington DC, then DC/China, and several other variations) before marrying. She’s been at BISS for 5 years, and he’s a screen-writer and novelist (as well as a “trailing spouse” like me).
They had a party at their apartment for several of the BISS faculty. As with so many of these get-togethers, I’m amazed at the variety of countries and cultures represented.
There was still some more packing planning and moving stuff around, separating the suitcase stuff from the shipping stuff. Judy had an appointment with several of her friends for a visit to Lily Nails. I decided to head over to the TT park for a workout. We got into another doubles match, and I played with several different partners. Someone went over to a nearby store and brought back some ice cream bars. I keep thinking back to what I thought two years ago I would be doing in Beijing. It wasn’t sitting around eating ice cream and playing table tennis with the locals. If I could speak a little Chinese, I’d be a real member of the group, but language is still a struggle between us.
Back at the apartment later, Judy and I scrambled to get ready to meet James and Erica for dinner. James is Canadian, and Erica is from Korea. They’re summer plans included Singapore, Bali, and eventually East Timor, before they travel to their homes for visits before returning in August to Beijing.
They took us to “Temple Restaurant Beijing”, or TRB. They had a driver arranged who picked us up, and delivered us to the restaurant. We traveled down several back alleys and eventually arrived at a dead-end where the restaurant had been remodeled out of a courtyard hutong. It was gorgeous, with an art gallery and some interesting art objects in the outer courtyard. Inside, the restaurant was the nicest we’ve visited in our time here in Beijing. The service was impeccable! The food was great, with several courses, and more “samples” brought out from the kitchen than you can imagine. We ordered some desserts to share, but they kept bringing us samples of some of the specialties and then there was a dessert “wagon” with several other items for us to sample. As we left, they handed each of us a small box containing a mug with TRB emblazoned on it. A gift for eating at the restaurant? I’ve never had that before. I wish we’d found this restaurant earlier in our stay here. It’s an experience not to be missed.
Cannot believe your two years in China is almost over! It has been great reading your post each week. Truly felt like we were there with you. Looking forward to seeing you both soon. Enjoy your last few weeks of sightseeing and cruising.
Bill & Margaret
It’s hard for us to believe as well! We’re sad and excited at the same time. See ya soon!