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arhyalon

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04:51 pm: China Post Twenty One -- the Party

The morning has a breakfast. The evening (afternoon as it turned out) Ping-Ping was throwing a party in our apartment. I thought this was an excellent idea, and the Chairman gave her plenty of money to buy treats with. (He came around at one point with pink envelopes which he handed out to a few children. I must have looked at him wrong, too interested or something, because, bless him, he gave one to me. He gave money to the rest of the children later, but not in envelopes. ) This way, Ping-PIng could give a Chinese New Year party and a goodbye party simutaneously.

After my last post, I left the school and walked back to the apartment. When I got there, it was already filled with about a dozen children...all sitting around in the semi-darkness (I eventually opened the curtains and let more light in) eating. 

The table was strewn with treats...not a single one of which I would have bought for a party in America. There were rice cakes, corn puffs, corn candy, nuts, meat products in plastic, nuts and seeds, soda, orange juice, milk tea, tomato flavored potato chips (I love potato chips...but I can't seem to come to grips with the tomato flavor.) And more. 

The children ate and ate. The young man who calls me Mother had me sit by him. He declared me to be his mother. This made me happy but sad, too, because I realized he did not have a mother that I was replacing. When he left, I gave him the pink envelope with 100 yuan that the Chairman had given me.

Then came one of my favorite parts. With the computer there, we pulled up Google Translate and I talked with some of the children. The first one asked me what my hobbies were. With the computer, I not only could tell them that I was a writer...I could pull up pictures of my novels, my husband's novels, my husband, and even a few of the boys. That was great fun. They wanted to know all about what I wrote. I was pleased they had heard of Shakespeare, so I could explain about writing about Miranda...but the thing that got the biggest response from the girls was my descriptioin of the Rachel Griffin novel (girl, magic school, perfect memory, in love with two boys.) The girls loved this...and went on to tell me how much they liked Twilight.

The mess was fantastic. I thought Ping-Ping was going to have one heck of a time cleaning up...but when I started a bit, the children all threw in and cleaned up rather well. It's still a bit messy, but not bad now. 

One of the girls asked about my favorite song. Not sure how to answer, I pulled up Beautiful Beautiful by Francesca Battistelli on a Chinese version of You Tube (Youku). One of the girls went looking for the lyrics and accidentally pulled up Porn Tube. I tried to stop her...but I was not in time. Gah! The brief view we got was horrible. The girls were all laughing and shrieking...and so amuse that I covered my eyes. We turned that off right away.

About 20 children came through, I think, including the Chairman's son, who is a bit younger than the others, and YiYi and Jing-Jing.  The place is still filled with treats. I guess we can leave them at the school tomorrow.

What I want now is a way to convince my daughter to leave behind the two foot tall Stitch (as in Lilo and...) doll YiYi gave her the day we arrived. It will probably cost us $70 to take it home.

I did not mention that YiYi and I saw two guys on bikes with enormous four by six feet bins of giant stuffed teddy bears the other day. Wish I had had a camera.



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