While the wife’s away….

Amanda in KLM Business Class

Amanda in KLM Business Class

Amanda has had to go back to Nanning for a month to see the family. Her Dad’s not well and has been asking her to go back so now is the best time as she has found a part-time job in a care home which she should start about a month from now once the disclosure paperwork has gone through.
When we were online checking her in for her flights we were picking her seats and I spotted an available seat where I wouldn’t have expected one to be offered for her.
Not giving her the chance to say that she would prefer her “normal seat” (window, just by the middle exit) I said to her “Oh, there’s a good one, grab that !”. As it was late at night and she’d had a long day she was in no mood to put up much of a struggle so the deed was done.
She was more than pleasantly surprised when she boarded the flight at Schiphol, and had to check with the cabin crew two or three times that a mistake hadn’t been made.
I just got a call from her in Chengdu and she says she slept all the way. That’s the first time ever! Given how busy she has been over the past week and how tired she was when I left her at the airport in Edinburgh I’m so glad it worked out that way for her.
It’s also the first time I’ve ever been able to get an upgrade for anybody, despite years of trying, so I’m pretty happy about that too.
Now, while the wife’s away, I’m hoping to be able to get around to a few blog posts that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. They’ll be somewhat varied so there should be something for everyone. 😉

I Heart China

I have a few blogs on WordPress already, all of them attached to this same user profile, Honorarynewfie. Some of them you may be aware of, some of them maybe not.

But now I’ve started another one !

For reasons that would only be clear to me it’s not part of the same group; I now have another profile, B2212.

The blog’s called I Heart China, and it’s a retrospective travelogue/diary of “our story”, Amanda and I, beginning with my first trip out to China to meet my beautiful little Chinese wife.

A lot of the pictures, especially the early ones, are not of a particularly high standard. There will be ones taken using mobile phones, video cameras, basically whatever was at hand at the time; but it’s not about quality it’s about the experiences, memories, and helping me to organise the thousands of photos we have taken over the past two years.

The blog will be a small selection of those pictures with a brief description of the events of each day.

The “About” page explains a little more.

The layout is still work in progress so it may chop and change about a bit until I get it settled. 😉

I’ll still be “doing my thing” on here; I’m not going anywhere; there will just be more of me ! 😯

Enjoy !

Daily routines take many forms, but life goes on

From the window of Amanda’s apartment there is a view to part of the end of the lane.
Every day at around 4:30 in the afternoon the “Veg Woman” arrives and starts laying out her stall just beside the Noodle Cafe. I think she lives in one of the apartments on the opposite side of the lane.
She starts by just bringing down the board on which she will lay out her wares and the box that she uses as a stool.
Then she brings out the veg, sits on her little box, arranges the veg on the board, and sits and waits for customers. On the day I took these pictures of her a customer arrived even before she had fully set up her stall.

Preparing

A customer, even before she's ready

Serving

Serving the customer

Weighing and pricing

Weighing and pricing

Just waiting

And she sits, studies, and waits

Business must be fairly good because when I was here last year she hardly had enough stock each day to cover the board one item high, but now she has reached the point where she could do with more space, a bigger board.
Every time she makes a sale she rearranges the items on the board to make as attractive a display as she can, and if she has gone too long with nobody showing any interest she will rearrange things too to try to drum up some interest.
She sits there, every day, until later in the evening (maybe 10:00) when she packs up and is replaced by a guy who has a barbecue stall on the back of his tricycle. He does good business too, until the early hours of the morning.
I know nothing of this woman. I don’t know her circumstances, her reasons for starting up her little business, what she does with the rest of her time, or anything. A “shoe shine” woman in town who cleaned our shoes for us one day last year told Amanda that she was doing that to raise the money to put her son through college, maybe the Veg Woman has a similar story.
Whatever the reason, each day I am here I look forward to her arrival. It is part of the daily routine of Nanning, a sign that all is well with the world.
Life goes on.

Have you ever been eaten by fish ?

Hmmm, surprisingly it seems I might actually be able to post while I’m in China… I certainly couldn’t last year !
Have so many stories to tell and pictures to show from this trip that it will take me ages to catch up when I get home.
Anyway, we went to the Gentle Uptown Hot Spring Spa on the outskirts of Nanning yesterday where, apart from doing things like having my first ever proper sauna, we sat / lay in a pool with lots of little fish that nibble at your skin. What an incredible sensation ! Well worth the extra 20 RMB per person.
They always head straight for your feet when you first get in, but then they do work their way all over you. Apart from the tickling that your feet get, their little teeth are sometimes quite sharp and you feel like you want to swat them like flies.
Will definitely have to go back on every trip. I want more of this 🙂

Tom having his feet nibbled by fish

A fishy feast

Amanda gets the fishy treatment

They liked Amanda too

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