heading for the hills

February 5th, 2008

Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to be packing to leave for Yanqing at 11. I’ll get to it in a minute. Hey, I’ve got two hours and I don’t need to take that much. For one thing, we have a fair bit of stuff stored up in the village that we can fall back on should the need arise. More importantly, we’ll be there for only one week.

lzh’s danwei handed out a Spring Festival care package consisting mostly of various kinds of processed meat, and so that’s going to account for about half of what I have to carry up there. Most of the rest of the weight will be the laptop. Won’t need much clothing considering it’ll be basically impossible to shower up there, making it kinda pointless to change clothes, and besides, everybody else is in the same boat and even if they weren’t, it’ll be too cold to smell. Ah, the joys of rural northern China.

But pretty much all the Spring Festival prep is done. There are large amounts of meat and fish stored safely where the dogs and cat can’t get them, huge piles of the stuff we’ll be giving to each household in the clan (apart from the two on Ma’s side still out in Huailai who we visited two weekends back) because it’s our first Spring Festival married, and I spied a stash of fireworks ready for me to light (they said they bought them for me- I don’t mind playing with fireworks, but I can’t figure out how I got the default fuse-lighting duty, and that duty somehow seems to have turned into “Chris likes fireworks”).

Oh, and we’ve hung our 福 characters on our apartment doors and cleaned the place up.

The only problem is I woke up around about two, and after three hours of staring at the ceiling, I thought bugger it, got up, and finished one of several books I have on the go. Didn’t help me get back to sleep, though, which is ok, because by that time there was only an hour or so until lzh’s alarm would go off, so I turned the computer on. Oh well, I’ll probably manage to doze off on the bus- and knowing me, I’ll be wide awake for the boring part of the ride through Changping across the plain, and I’ll sleep through the beautiful section crossing the mountains. Happens every time.

lzh’s brother says he got the broadband installed up there, which is cool- I will definitely be spending August in the village- but he says it’s not as fast as he expected. Well, first of all he’s using my old laptop, which is not very fast. Secondly, I don’t think we can reasonably expect broadband in rural areas to be as fast as broadband in downtown Beijing. The dial-up certainly is slower up there, and cellphone signals weaker. So long as it is useable, that’s ok. And besides, you pay 500-odd and get six months unlimited surfing, paying only 50-odd per month after that? Can’t expect a super-high speed connection. But I am curious to see just how good it is, and whether it’s the computer, the connection or both that are slowing things down.

Oh, no, now I’m being told to leave at ten. Better hurry, then.

2 Responses to “heading for the hills”

  1. Jeremiah Says:

    Happy New Year to you and Izh. Have fun up in them thar hills.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Sorry, Jeremiah, don’t know how you got held up for moderation.

    Cheers, and Happy New Year to you and YJ.