We’re back in Baoding after our lazy week in Beijing. The fireworks dwindled back to nothing the two days after my last post and were replaced by our first snow of the year! We woke one morning with the light gleaming through the curtains (very Hollywood) and I actually didn’t even realize the rooftops were covered in snow until about an hour after I was actually up when I finally opened the curtains. And what a magical winter wonderland we did find!
The snow continued for about two days (in the tiniest little baby snowflakes we ever did see) and it was great in lessening the crowded streets.
One day we went to the Temple of Heaven Park and we realized the two times we’ve been there have been during the biggest holidays in China – National Day and Spring Festival weeks. There were relatively few people, however, and we thoroughly enjoyed just wandering around and playing in the snow (I threw quite a few snowballs at the birthday boy).
We tried to go see an acrobatics show on Saturday for Duncan’s birthday but that plan unfortunately fell through and after a trip to the Lama Temple we spent the evening at the hostel (they had really good burgers). The hostel celebrated with us by giving Duncan a free cocktail (which we redeemed in the form of a bucket, yes, a bucket, of rum and coke) and interrupting their blaring English pop music with Happy Birthday over the sound system (I told them just to bring a candle but much like in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the Aunt says in response to Ian being vegetarian “it’s ok, I make lamb”, I told the owner “don’t play the song; just say Happy Birthday”, and she said “ok, I play the song” and off she went). It was fun and we had a good time. I’ll miss the clean shower and plethora of Western food but I’ll have that available to me all the time sooner than it seems.
Classes (may) start back up again on the 17th and we intend to spend the remainder of our vacation reacclimating to life in Baoding and reorienting ourselves with our jobs as teachers. With our vacation mostly over, we realized we’re more than halfway done with this adventure in China. With roughly four months of teaching left (and considering time while teaching speeds by), we’ll be back in the States before we know it and this year will seem like a crazy dream.
Thank you for reading and until next time,