Our friend, Gilbert, and his wife, Lulu, were in Jinan this week. Gilbert was a great friend to us when we were here before. They have moved to Beijing for Lulu's job, but they still keep an apartment in Jinan so they can get away from Beijing city life when they can. We arranged to have dinner with them on Tuesday.
Gilbert picket us up about four in the afternoon and drove us to his apartment. On the way there, Gilbert took us to see one of the villas that some people are buying. They are sprawling houses similar to what you would find in the US, but with Chinese style. One of the houses was 32 million yuan! That translates to just under $5,000,000 US.
Lulu's parents live with them so that they can take care of their son, Marcelle, when they are working. We had a nice visit and waited for our other friend, Ya Ping to come. We still had to wait because Ya Ping's wife had to come from the other side of Jinan to join us for dinner also. In the waiting time, we showed pictures of the family and had pictures taken with them.
|Had to have a pictures with Lulu's parents and Marcelle.|
Dinner was at a restaurant that specializes in seafood. We had so many different kinds! I forgot to get pictures of all the foods, but there were octopus, scallops, oysters, clams and shrimp stuffed mushrooms. Some of the foods were too spicy for me to eat more than just a taste of it. We sampled everything, but then the food just kept coming. All the time while we are eating, we are also talking. Gilbert talks really well in English and Lulu has some skills also. Ya Ping understands a lot of English but is afraid to speak much. His wife doesn't speak or understand much at all.
|Marcelle, Lulu, Gilbert, David, Zina, Ya Ping|
We talked and talked after the meal until almost 10:30. It was such a fun night, but the food stayed with us all night long. First, we get home late, then we can't sleep because the food is still in our stomachs. It was a long night with not enough sleep and we both had to get up and teach the next morning. We ate a bare minimum for breakfast because we were still full!
Wednesday we had lunch with Eva in the canteen. We had talked about going to a different market area to see it. Kayce (BYU teacher) wanted to go with us, so she came to our campus and had lunch also and then Eva drove us to an area close to her house so that she could drop off her car and we could take a bus to the market area.
Eva had dropped us off on a corner to wait for her so that we wouldn't have to walk all that far. While we were waiting, a woman on a bike was crossing the street and all of a sudden, she fell in the road. She was trying to pick herself up and checking to see if she was okay. A part of her bike had fallen off close to us, so Kayce picked it up and took it to her and helped put it back on her bike. The woman was so grateful. She came over and bowed to us to thank us. She started to walk away but turned back to us and got her phone out to take pictures. She got a lot of pictures of us and then thanked us again and finally went on her way, walking the bike.
The market was fun and we found a lot of fun things. Eva was insistent that David and I needed hats and new scarves. She found a hat shop and we tried on a lot of hats. Finally settling on one for each of us and then bargaining the price down. Then we found a scarf shop and bought scarves and gloves. Kayce needed to get back for a class, so she left to find a bus stop. She couldn't find the bus she needed, so she ended up getting a taxi home.
We were also looking for a new shirt for David, He didn't bring enough with him for winter, so we were looking in several shops. We finally went into a more formal mall connected to the market and after trying several places found the perfect shirt...at a fairly high price. We ended up buying it because it looked so good on him and fit perfectly. It is hard to find shirts in his size here, but we succeeded.
|David's new shirt and hat. Christmas gifts from Eva.|
Thursday, Kayce wanted to go back to the market and invited me to go along. We made it to the market by ourselves and wandered the shops. After successful purchases for things we were looking for, we decided to go home. We got lost in the maze of shops and couldn't find the entrance we had come in at. We wandered for about 20 minutes and finally, I saw a shop that I had recognized as being near the opening to go to the formal mall where we had bought David's shirt. I knew how to get to the bus stop from there, so we went and had more success getting on the bus and home!
David had games in the canteen for his students, so I met him there and we had dinner with some of his students. Conner and Elsie, two of the students, wanted to learn to make pies. We decided that Friday evening would be a good time to make the pies. Conner wanted a banana cream pie, so they would bring the bananas.
Elsie loves to cook. She followed my directs exactly, except I was a little nervous about the pie filling burning and didn't let it cook as much as it needed to set up well. We didn't get to taste it that night because of it. I was ashamed to tell Elsie how I had failed her. They ordered food and had it delivered to our apartment for supper while we waited for the pie. The next morning, I made a new pie that did set up and we used that one on Saturday evening when Conner and Elsie came back for pie. We had a fun time both evenings visiting with these fun kids! Conner is happy that Elsie can make banana cream pie for him now!
Saturday, David and I took the morning to catch up with our class work that we had gotten behind on with all of the other activities this week. We went to RT Mart and got some things that we needed. Eva and Yi Bing (Bob's mother) wanted to take us to lunch. Yi Bing was so excited to see us and thanked us profusely for helping Bob and Anna with their English. The lunch was full of laughter and fun and lots and lots and lots of dumplings! We ate until we were too full and we refused to eat the last of the dumplings. Not really polite in Chinese society to do that, but we couldn't hold anymore! We skipped supper that night because of Elsie and Conner coming over to eat pie.
|Lunch with Eva, Yi Bing and us. Good times!|
|Eva, David, Zina and Yi Bing. We are outside of the Catholic church in Jinan. They had just opened it for the Christmas season, so we went in to have a look.|
|We loved the stain glass windows.|
|The south view of the Catholic Church. The low building in front is where the nuns live.|
After Church today, we had our usual dinner, but not so usual today! Kayce had bought a cake, candles and balloons for my birthday! They all sang to me. We had two Chinese girls come to eat with us. They have been there before. It was a fun day. Oh, we skipped supper tonight also, just too much food this week!
|My birthday cake. Kayce felt successful ordering the cake by herself. The pigs on the top were cute. Neither Kayce or the bakery new anything of the connection with pigs in my life!|
|We all had to put on the reindeer antlers that Kayce bought. And then the selfie with our Chinese friend. From left to right, Kayce, David, Deneice Kinghorn, Zina, John Kinghorn, Bonnie Hardman, Chinese girl, Sue Stubbs, Summer|