It has been three months since arriving in Beijing and so far the day has gone like this:
- millet porridge for breakfast (with apple, raisins and cinnamon – nothing like a bit of fusion cuisine to start the day!)
- the usual emailing, checking nz news, easing into the day
- a (bicycle) trip to O’Mart for whiteboard pens, the swanky supermarket for yoghurt, wine, and other expat luxuries, and a quick detour to get scrapbooks for the children’s communion education class that we’re running in the morning. The swanky supermarket was the site of my first successful use of chinese, other than the turn left, turn right taxi vocabulary! I said that I ate only veges and not meat and could I buy the stuffed bun (for Andrew actually, my coeliac disease has not been miraculously healed yet!) and I even understood the reply when he told me there was no meat, only vegetables!
- a quick stop to deposit groceries, admire the delivery of organic veges, apples and tofu and then back on my happy flying pigeon bicyle to meet a member of the congregation whose preparing for baptism. An Indian buffet that was pretty good though the Bollywood dvds were slightly distracting as we got to grips with suffering, faith and prayer!
- Swung by our usual church venue to raid the Sunday School cupboard and to check on the renovations – we haven’t seen the place since we were sent on our way with ten days notice in October. Looks pretty much the same, just with more Victorian style light fittings around the wall! We’ll be back for All Saints Sunday this Sunday (were busy having our first-time Reformation Sunday experience last week).
- Spent the afternoon cutting out and pasting and generally preparing for the Communion class tomorrow. Five 6 – 9 year olds at our apartment for a morning of Bible, liturgy and pikelets!
- Now it’s time to get in the kitchen. We have congregation members coming for dinner so we need to whip up some gourmet treats. Stuffed peppers, garlic scapes, green beans… We’ll see how it goes.
Of course there are other things to say at the three month mark. Beijing is an amazing city. The Great Wall was…. well, great. I heard a British woman saying to her companion, “You know what, we’re on the Great Wall!” and it was like that… kind of hard to believe and wonderful and awe-inspiring and cold and beautiful. I think there’s another post about homesickness and vocation and some other things more philosophical. Some of you might like to read my contribution to an on-line discussion about self-doubt below. But for now it’s off to the kitchen to whip a self-saucing lemon pudding!