because some episodes need two parts…
Sunday found me having lunch with 10 of my former students. Wow! What a great treat that was for me. Finally, after all this time we were able to find a student that is now on faculty here at Nanjing Normal. This class of folk get together about twice a year and they were supposed to get together two months ago, but there were too many conflicts. Call it fate, coincidence, whatever, I am just so pleased that I was able to reconnect and see these people again. They all look about the same, but they are all married now with children (ages 5 months – 8 years). They are all teachers either in universities or secondary/middle schools. They seem to be happy and doing what they trained to do. It was lovely to see them, but I also knew that though is was great to have some time with them, they really wanted to catch up with each other and visit amongst themselves. It’s a good teacher that knows when her students have outgrown her and need to move on. It’s time for me to move on and let them enjoy each other and remember me kindly.
After this is was time to take AEB to see the animals that line the sacred path to the ming tomb. She thought she also wanted to see the tombs, but when she saw the map and all the walking she’d have to do she opted for seeing the animals first and then seeing how she felt about the tombs at the end. It was an almost unbearably hot day. Fortunately, the tombs are in the lower part of the Purple mountains so it was a bit cooler than in the centre of the city. We saw one animal that is considered the unicorn, but much different than the western mythological unicorn. It has a horn, but it points to the back. These fellows had their horns knocked off who knows how many years ago. But it’s always interesting to compare ideas of creatures and even the creatures themselves.
Then it was off to the tailor’s and fabric shop to have our girl measured for her qipao. She stood still and was measured and found her material. I decided to have a jacket made in a blue with sliver/grey cherry blossoms. I won’t be around for a final fitting so hopefully he will actually pay attention to the measurements and try not to make it too form fitting. If he does I’ll either have to start wearing a corset or loose a significant amount of weight or have breast reduction surgery! However, he does seem to have experience with western female frames, so hopefully he will pay attention to the curves while creating the jacket. I say all this having had a beautiful jacket and trousers made, but the tailor just could not get around the fact that I did not have a Chinese lady’s frame, but a western female frame with hips, a rear end and breasts! Hopefully, at some point, they will fit AEB nicely and someone will get use out of the lovely outfit.
But now it’s time to turn thoughts to getting ready for packing and getting all the bring homes into the cases and hoping they all add up to less than our monetary allowance for US customs and the weight is such that we won’t have to pay more than having the extra baggage. So much to get done and organised. And there’s AEB enjoying what she can of the last two days of school. When I walked her to school this morning she stopped me at the school gate and told me good bye for the day and walked to her classroom on her own. I just smiled and watched her go off. What a girl. What a girl.