Xin Yen Guai Le (not sure I spelled that right). Happy New Year! Welcome to the Year of the Dragon!
Last night, we spent at the Chairman's beautiful two story apartment in the city. I thought we were going to the country house we had seen before, but no...this place was right on the Pearl River and had the most amazing view you can imagine. The city is all lit up at night along the river, so the view was just amazing. He brought me out in the cold to show it off to me...and admire it, I did!
We then sat around together in front of a large TV and watched the Chinese New Year extravaganza special on TV. Some of it, like the comedy skits, were beyond me. But there was a lot of singing and dance numbers and acrobats and magicians and stuff that I could understand just fine. The magician did a trick with mirrors that was nifty (a hand came out of the mirror...still not sure how he did it. There didn't seem to be anything behind. And there was a phoenix and dragon dance that was gorgeous!
The weirdest bit was beautiful ballet dancers dancing, I think Swan Lake, interposed with men in black doing a techno rock leaping thing. The two pieces were put together in a really weird way. This was the only act I saw with non Chinese people in it. I wondered if they might be Russian.
There was lots of treats on the table before us. Cookies, more cookies, cookies with chocolate. A roll crisp thing with coconut and dried pork fluff. My favorite, by far, was the candied lotus root. Ping-Ping likes lotus root anyway. I used to cook it for her until I couldn't find it any more. This was really good.
I went to bed early. Ping-Ping had told me we would sleep together in a bed, and one was set up for both of us...but she never showed up. She fell asleep in front of the TV (that is my TV watching daughter!) This was too bad only because two other girls slept on the floor. One could have slept on the rather nice sized bed with me. We would not have troubled each other.
There were not many children there. The Chairman, his lovely young wife who speaks a little English (I forgot about this once or twice...I was used to being able to talk to Ping-Ping with no one understanding. LOL). Their son, whose English name is Tommy. An older boy...another orphan? I don't know. A girl I didn't know. The tough girl from the Elementary school, she is very scrappy and funny and always calling Ping-Ping crazy, and Guang Huang Zen. I have no idea why these particular children and not others...but it was a nice small group.
Guang Huang Zen and Tommy kept sneaking off to play video games upstairs. The unknown girl snuck off to watch TV on the computer when they were done...but I did get access to it for a little while to check my email. (That was the other thing about not going home. I could have grabbed YiYi's computer.)
It was fun. I was glad this happened to be the year of the dragon, as the dragon motifs were very beautiful. Very Chinese, too. Long Yen -- Dragon Year.
I woke up rather early but stayed in bed because it was warmer there...I had one of the silk blankets we saw made when we visited Beijing last time. They are quite warm.Eventually, I wandered out and played with the computer. Checking email, sending out a few Happy New Year messages. Downstairs, they were playing a Harry Potter movie.
Ping-Ping called up that they were all waiting for me, so I wandered downstairs...easier said than done, as it was a spiral wood staircase and I was wearing a pair of overly large borrowed slippers.
Well...I got downstairs and discovered they were waiting to go to breakfast! Everyone had left except for four of us. So, just like that, without even rebraiding my hair or washing my face, I was off for Chinese New Year breakfast...in the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sweatshirt I had slept in.
This did not turn out to matter, though. We went back to the Gold Coast Marina Club and ate with a group of the older students. These kids had had it good recently...a huge meal at the orphanage, a huge meal with the school, and now one with the Chairman. Bless 'em. They are really nice kids. There is one really sweet older boy who calls me Mother and tries to learn a word or two of English. He comes and talks to me each time. We invited him to the party tonight...so I will finally be able to speak to him by Google Translate!
There were no pictures on the menu and this was breakfast and my daughter had no ability to tell me what the dishes were. Even if she had wanted to translate the things on the menu I would not have known what they were. I asked for something breakfasty, like a sesame bun. No such luck. But they did their best. A really nice looking bun went by on a tray for someone else, but no one was right there for me to show it to.
We sat down, after a chat with the Chairman's wife about drinking tea at breakfast and were given a tea pot of...
Er...the only person I have ever heard of drinking hot water straight is my daughter when she is ill. But that was what they gave us. I had two cups of hot water.
Eventualy, I did get tea.
Then they brought...
The kids love these. You can buy them in a bag, each one sealed in a little plastic bag of its own...but it REALLY isn't my idea of breakfast.
I sat there, staring at what looked like children's fingers or maybe a character from the Simpsons that someone had cooked. Sigh...
But then good stuff came. Really good stuff. Including the buns I saw. Ping-Ping picked up the plate, lost balance, and spilled one right onto my plate. BOY were they GOOD. They seemed to be real bread, had honey on top and a cream honey stuff inside.
There were bao, dim sun, pastry-thingies, and a rice pudding, maybe? Whatever it was, it was really good.
A very nice breakfast!