Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Beixin Chinese New Year Chronicles: Day Three

First some links:
Day Three of the K family odyssey to Beixin was February 3:
  • Happy New Year!
  • The routine is to go on rounds of visits to relatives and friends in the area.
  • We first went to an elderly aunt and uncle's house which was exceedingly primitive.  I would also say it was peasant-like.  It was a small brick hovel, one half of which was set aside for the grinding of grains which was done with stone and straw implements.  Cooking instruments were also very basic.  The house shrine featured a portrait of Chairman Mao(!?!).  There was a television.  The latrine was a hole in the ground -- the uncle and aunt must do their business in a chamber pot.  We had the damnedest time trying to keep a curious Tony away from the latrine hole.
  • Other houses we went to on the rounds had lots of floor space, and many floors.  Make a close inspection of the houses and one sees they are made of cheap brick and concrete covered with ugly tiling.  Some of the houses have stairways without railings -- I worried for Tony's safety.
  • Tony has an older male cousin to horse around with.
  • CCTV9 shows riot scenes fro Tahir Square in Cairo.  Mesmerizing.  I tune in constantly for updates.
  • Tony cuts his hand in the fold of his skin between the thumb and index finger.  This stops him from horsing around.  He sits quietly and watches his Dora DVD.
  • I take a 2-hour nap in the afternoon.  There is nothing else to do.  CNY is dull!
  • After nap, I play billiards with my mother-in-law.  Mama wins the last two games.  We play in the pool hall which is next door to Mama and Baba's compound.  The pool hall is primitive:  there are no racks, sticks are old and fractured, and the ball bounces off the table sides -- two times I had a routine rebound shot ruined as the cue ball jumped over its' target.
  • I see two men play badminton in the dark.
  • Tony naps at suppertime.  He fell asleep on my shoulders when I took him for a walk.
  • I read Ezra Pound poetry and Genesis to pass the time.
  • Nudism versus Naturism.  Naturism is nakedness in accordance with natural law; Nudism is nakedness that sees clothing as unnatural.  A minor sect of Nudism sees their nakedness as being in compliance with natural law because they believe clothes are not in accordance with natural law.
  • I am thinking of a Wuxi China Expatdom narrative in which the WCE parliament has two parties: Naturist and Nudist.
  • Shuimian (水面) is noodle flour, or as Jenny says "make yourself noodles."
  • A group of young men see me.  They approach and one of them gives me a cigarette.  I try to ask them what they do but they won't tell me.

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