25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Christmastime in Beijing.  This is the Wall at Mutianyu where we brought my sister and her husband who came for Xmas.  It snowed a couple of days earlier so the scene was glorious.  Cold, though.  Very very cold at minus 14 C.  LiLi and I walked one tower's worth and went back down.  My sis and her husband walked 8 towers on the icy steps and finally turned around at one of those stone ladder -shallow-foothold ascents.  

I've been quiet during this countdown owing to a bad bout of the flu combined with hugely annoying  internet access problems.  We've been unbelievably lucky this past year with avoiding cold and flu bugs.  But last week, LiLi came down with a horrible flu that kept her out of school over a week.  She missed her last week of school, two slumber parties, two going away parties, movie day in class, and many other festivities.  She was so sick she didn't even care.  It was far from the week off from work  that I'd imagined:  me walking the frosty market lanes, buying fun Xmas presents and gifts to take home, stopping at cool cafes for lattes and reading a novel.  Oh, I had such a plan.  But none of that was to be.  Nor was the packing I figured would take place during that time off.  On Saturday, I started to feel bad myself and by Sunday at the Great Wall, I had a raging fever and chills, completely flattened  by Monday.  Oh, definitely not the last week in China I had planned.

My sister and her husband are very well traveled and troopers, though, so they set out on their own one full day, then we had a lovely Christmas morning together, and the afternoon out and about with them.   Since they saw Lenin recently they're committed to seeing Chairman Mao and will try the third time tomorrow morning before heading to the airport and the rest of their China travels.  They're getting used to things changing on a dime here, though, and know that like the last couple of days there is a chance the Great Helmsman will again be closed to the public.

Tonight is still Christmas so tomorrow I'll begin to think about the next...five days.

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