Asbestos soup

May 6th, 2007

We’re back in Beijing.

I’m really tired right now.

Anyway, so a few days ago a friend came up to Yanqing to visit us. We talked him into staying a couple of days longer. It’s been a while since we saw him last, because he now lives in a small town outside Changzhou near Taihu in Jiangsu, but he finally got himself back up to Beijing. He’s now at the airport, having finally managed to check in after much running around trying to figure out how to get his ticket that was booked over the phone. Now he’s sitting at the boarding gate with a beer keeping an eye on the airport staff in case they change the boarding gate, as they often do. And he should be airborne now, but the flights to and from Changzhou are always late.

Anyway, he first checked in on a couple of friends in Beijing and then came up to Yanqing to visit us. We picked him up from outside the shopping centres at Dong Guan in the county town, he gave lzh 100 kuai to buy some stuff for the family, so she bought a big stack of meat and a couple of bottles of Shaoxing huangjiu, thinking it might be nice for her father to try. Then, having missed the bus to the village by all of two minutes- we saw it go past, but we couldn’t get to the bus stop in time- we hired a miandi out to the village.

My friend acquired the Chinese name Roubaozi, so that’s what we’ll call him. Roubaozi and I arrived in the village and immediately opened a couple of beers and sat around drinking and talking. And that’s pretty much how we spent the holiday. We drank tea in the morning and beer in the afternoon and evening and sat around talking. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so we had a lot to catch up on.

We did help Ba take the old roof off the sheep pen and put a new one on. Then I discovered that the new roof was made of asbestos. Brilliant. There we were handling asbestos with our bare hands and no mask, getting covered in asbestos dust. As soon as the new roof was put up we washed thoroughly and changed our clothes.

Then we got back to the serious business of drinking more beer.

So that was our holiday.

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