pandas and electronics markets

December 3rd, 2007

Mum, Dad, and lzh are on their way back from Zhongguancun. Apparently I have electronic goodies to look forward to when they get back. Well, a portable hard drive (is that the correct English term? Serious question- I’ve only heard this in Chinese before) and a webcam. Not too much electronic goodness, but exactly the first two items on the shopping list.

And on the way to Zhongguancun, they were supposed to stop off at the zoo to meet the pandas. I don’t know if they actually did that, yet, but I suspect they probably did.

And apart from the 919 from Deshengmen to Yanqing, today will have been my parents’ first experience of Beijing public transport. They took the subway to Xizhimen then walked to the zoo (I phoned lzh just as they had gotten out of Xizhimen station and had started walking zoo-wards, and that was the plan, so I guess that’s what happened) and lzh’s plan was to get a bus from the zoo to Zhongguancun, and just after I got out of class I got a call from lzh saying they were just about to get back on the subway at Xizhimen. lzh’s plan was to get a taxi to Bawangfen to get on the subway this morning, and I’d be willing to bet she’s planning on getting a taxi from Dawanglu station back home. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to hear Mum and Dad’s reaction to Beijing public transport.

I would not at all be surprised to hear Mum dictate that from now on all trips will be by taxi. On the other hand, I would be even less surprised, given how well they’re coping with China so far (how many other tourists find themselves in a real life, non-touristy village hosted by genuine Chinese farmers who really do raise corn, apples, grapes, assorted veges, dates and sheep for a living? And enjoy the experience?) if they decide that from now on all trips will be by bus or subway.

In other news: Whale Rider seems to get a very mixed reaction from Chinese students. That film is related to this post because it’s one of two New Zealand films my mum brought us. The other is In My Father’s Den, which I will definitely not try showing my students.

Anyway, they should all be home soon, and when they get here I’ll have to see if they agree with my colleague’s suggestion to check out the performance at Laoshe Teahouse. Personally, I think it’s a great idea, but we shall see whether they agree or not.

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