woensdag 30 januari 2013


On Monday afternoon a big hole appeared in KangWang street and swallowed a block of buildings.
Check out this video of the collapse:

Buildings collapse in KangWang street

As you can see people knew something was wrong. Before the collapse, due to work on the subway, the workers noticed that something was very wrong. They went to the buildings and got everybody out on time. It's a miracle that nobody died or got hurt.

This kind of collapse has happened before in this area. The last time was in 2004.

maandag 28 januari 2013

Trip to the 青年宫

Some of my students played in a wind band concert today. I promised them I'd come to listen and that I would also bring Lexie. The 青年宫 (qingniangong = youth palace) is not that far from my house but it is not easy to get there. Grandpa came up with a good plan to go by bus. Grandma also came along so we took Lexie's stroller. As you can imagine taking Lexie and stroller by yourself on a crowded bus is not the best idea. Grandpa carried Lexie and he got offered a seat. Grandma hung onto the stroller and I just held a little bag. Since I'm pregnant it is not OK for me to hold onto a stroller ;)

We got there on time and I bought a little snack on the way. The concert started late but we had fun with Lexie meeting everybody. After the first piece we took Lexie to the back of the room so she could walk around a bit. She was quite good and only made some noise in a quiet bit once.
We listened to a few pieces, including Gangnam style. Lexie had a nice little wiggle during that one ;)

A bit later I decided it was about time to head back to avoid the crowd in the elevator and on the bus.
We took a different line home. After one stop two friends got on as well. Lexie likes the bus since there's a lot to see. We got on on the second stop so there were seats for everybody.

This morning I executed an old plan to go tho the store in my pajamas. It happens a lot here but so far I've resisted the urge to give it a try. Since it is still a bit cold I wore my bathrobe as well.
My neighbour (the annoying one who is always trying to sell me stuff) got into the elevator with me gave me a look up and down before asking me where I was going. I just said I was going to buy some stuff. She digested this and then commented that the robe looked very comfortable and warm.

IN cafe is going to close this Thursday. There are 2 new locations already so not all will be lost. One will be a coffee take away at the East Railway Station and the other one will be inside of a hospital.
Since ayi will not have to clean there anymore we get an extra afternoon at our place, hurrah!!
Today we've started the project to wash all the curtains. The ones in the living room have been washed already and are back up again.

zaterdag 26 januari 2013

vrijdag 25 januari 2013

Air "quality"

This picture was taken last night at 18.31. At that time the pollution index was 262.
For the last two days air quality has been horrible and constantly in the "hazardous" category.
Not good, not good at all. My air quality app kept sending me reminders that the pollution levels were really high and that protection was recommended. I thought about switching it off since I can't change the fact that levels were so bad. Breathing is unfortunately not optional for us humans.....

This morning I woke up hungry at 6.30. I snuck out of bed and looked outside. It looked kinda clear and I saw the pollution was down to 136. An impressive drop overnight.
I went back to sleep and was pleasantly surprised that the levels had dropped even more when I woke up :)

This picture was taken at 10.34 this morning. At that time the pollution index was 82. Now at 10.55 it is back to 108, ayaaaaa.
Yup, not a perk of living in a big city........
I asked Haiwen to get an air purifier so we can at least breathe freely at home.

The biggest problem are the PM 2,5 particles. They are so tiny that they can go deep into the long tissue and onwards into the blood stream from there. Yikes, very scary stuff!!

woensdag 23 januari 2013

Teaching in HuangPu


Watermachine providing lukewarm water

Some inspiring motto's........

More students

Lovely toilets

View outside the classroom

Beginning the long journey back home

dinsdag 22 januari 2013

Terrace blog

This blog is coming to you from the terrace of B.R.O. coffee :)
It's a lovely day and Yahoo says it's 22C.
No way I could stay inside!

I had a nice day with Lexie so far. Grandma arrived just after she woke up from her afternoon nap. Laura came by for some coffee and Lexie was being ultra cute as usual ;)

She's calling all round things "bal" now. Finally she's saying a few words in Dutch. I was a bit worried that the "Cantonese only" was gonna last even longer.

Canto list:
- haai haai (shoes)
- mat (socks)
- dai dai (brother, bag or belt)
- ba baa (poo)
- go go (older brother)

Dutch list:
- maan (moon)
- nee nee nee (no no no)
- bal (ball)

International list:
- papa
- mama
- bye bye
- hi (same as haai, hehehe)

Mandarin list:
- yu (fish)
- gou gou (dog or also cat at this point)
- baba (could be daddy or poo.......)
- di di (brother)
- mei mei (sister)
- gu gu (aunty, aunty Qiang)

Yesterday I went out to HuangPu to teach. It takes an our by metro to get there. I did OK in the morning but on the way back I got out to take a cab, even if it was rush hour. I was bothered by an idiot that was screaming on his phone and thereby letting me smell his bad breath. Yikes. Yuck. Nah a. I lasted 40 min before this, so that's not too bad. Stupid guy intensified the claustrophobia that had been building up before. In my delicate state (ahem) I decided to go a bit diva. Why not?? :)
I'm going again tomorrow. The students have a 'practice week' before a concert on Sunday. So guess where I have to go on Sunday, haha. I'm taking HW with me.

OK, my student just texted that she's almost there so I'd better go home!

zaterdag 19 januari 2013

Complex day

HW's company planned a trip to DaFu mountain today. They went cycling first and we met up with them later.

Part 2 of the day was to go BBQing. There's a special BBQ mountain with lots of pits. 

Getting the coals burning has never been easier as somebody with a torch comes to do that for you.

Of course we ended up at the highest spot on the mountain *sigh*. When I got up there it was time for Lexie's lunch. It was quite warm midday, later it got chilly again (chilly as in 16C, brrr).
We were at spot 84. Luckily there were lots of people that wanted to carry Lexie and her stroller up the mountain. I just took over the pomelo's on the way up ;)

Lexie was in charge of the pomelo's for a little while.

This is the little house where the charcoal is being kept. You pay for a box at the cashier and then take your receipt to pick up a box.

At 17.30 (Chinese time) it was time for grandpa Tummers' funeral in Limburg. Jenny (my sister in law) kept me up to date on the event. Through Juul (my brother) I got to say hi to grandma. Juul showed her a pic of Lexie and me and she needed some time to think of Lexie's name ;)

The coffin looks very beautiful and really stands out in the snow.

It's also Jenny's birthday today but she's not having a party.

donderdag 17 januari 2013

Cuteness galore!

After the sports day event a photographer took some extra pics of Lexie. 

HW's mom's friend is now the headmistress of the kindergarten. Last night, after I had dinner with grandpa and Lexie, mom in law and her ex colleagues came back for a visit. They just had a New Year's dinner together. The friend brought an USB stick with lots of cool Lexie pics.
Here's a selection:

woensdag 16 januari 2013


Too cute!! 

A few minutes ago I thought, let's write a blog! I felt like I had a lot to tell you but now I'm sitting here my mind seems to have gone blank..... Hurrah for preggo brain ;)


I tried to change my hospital appointment yesterday. It wasn't easy and in the end Ans had to help me. They can't tell you straight away over the phone and want to call you back. On your HK phone.... Yeah, I used to have one but it already expired. So I left Ans' number with them. Ans texted me later that the appointment was changed to another day (one I did not ask for, but OK......).
It seems a bit strange to me that the hospital just sets a time and you have no choice. Is this normal? I don't know. Luckily I usually stay away from hospitals. Good thing is that the service is great once you are there and everybody is very nice.

Cool new place in ZhuJiang

Yesterday I had lunch at a cool new place with Beth and Rose.
Rose had come across it a few days ago and suggested we meet up there. The design is cool and not 'Chinese' at all. Most importantly: food was good :) I had a spinach salad (mommy needs extra iron and calcium) and a pumpkin risotto. Can't remember what it is called.....

In the afternoon I will take Lexie to the afternoon tea at the Hilton. What a life little miss Lexie has!! Hanging out at the best hotels in town regularly.  

Opa Tummers will be buried this Saturday. I will be there in spirit!

zondag 13 januari 2013

RIP (great) grandpa's

Grandpa Tummers has died earlier today at the very respectable age of 90 years old.
I'm glad he can rest now and it was a privilege to have him around for so long!

This winter has decided to take both grandfathers away to some other place. It's just 5 weeks ago that grandpa Janssen died, at the age of 93. He was cremated exactly 1 month ago today.

It's a strange feeling that they are both gone now, after having them with us for such a long time!

I hope they are happy, wherever they are now.

(Great) grandpa Tummers

Grandpa Tummers is going to leave us soon. He's not eating anymore and he's on morphine to be a bit more comfortable. Grandpa Janssen just left us last month.
I hope grandpa Tummers can let go soon so he no longer has to suffer. I'm glad he still got to meet Lexie last summer. She had fun holding onto his wheelchair and playing with his hands.

Here she is with somewhat crazy bed hair yesterday. You can't tell from this pic but she had a bad night. Last night she did great. She slept in her own bed until 6.30. Then it was milk time and she fell back asleep with us. She divided cuddle time between daddy and me: she would snuggle up for about 20 minutes, roll over and snuggle up with the other one. This pattern was repeated until 9.30, a decent time for a Sunday morning!

vrijdag 11 januari 2013


I'm now 13 weeks pregnant and the baby is the size of a lemon now, according to my app.
Today was one of those I had one thing on my mind only: sleep!!!
I did enjoy a nice lunch with a friend and her baby. The little one is exactly one year younger than Lexie. I got to hold her on the taxi ride back and had a nice snuggle with her.
When I got home it was nap time and I was out cold for 1,5 hour.

I set a new record yesterday: I fell asleep on the couch while ayi was here, cleaning our house. Wow, that is a true first!

Last night we went to the New Year's reception of the consulate. It was nice to catch up with some people and we went out for a snack later. Lexie was with grandma so we made good use of the evening. I was already half dead though. It was still nice to be out and about :)

In the afternoon I met Nicole for coffee and Lexie joined us. Grandma had trouble finding me and she called me: 'Where are you??' Uhm, at the coffee place across from the gate as I told grandpa. 'Yes, but we don't see you.' Pffff, they only checked outside but who would like to have coffee outside in 12C weather without sunshine? Little bit weird..... Everything turned out fine in the end.

All's well that ends well!

donderdag 10 januari 2013


Parts of week 1

One of Lexie's new toys seems to be a tennis racket. She sneaks into daddy's room to get one (plenty of choice there!) and then drags it around the house. Maybe it's time for baby sized rackets and soft balls soon?

This morning we went to the GWIC morning coffee. Daddy dropped us off. In this pic you can see our lovely parking garage ;) We had a good time and Lexie sat down for at least half an hour in total, very impressive. It may just have been that she loves the banana bread they serve there, haha. She also adopted an auntie to go play with and enthusiastically waved bye bye to me. Awesome, time out for mommy :) She went after 3 year old twins but they were not in the mood to play. Her 1 year old little brother was friendlier. He's Japanese and just had his hair shaven off to mark his 1st birthday. Mom wasn't happy with it!

Yesterday I went to HK for the Down screening test. Just another way to take a look at the new baby ;) The trip there was very smooth and even nice because I chatted with a grandpa the whole ride. He was very happy to meet me and I was happy to meet him too! He's an American citizen (doesn't really speak English though), used to be a doctor, was orphaned by a Japanese bomb attack, sings in 2 choirs and lived in Shenzhen when the whole town consisted of two streets.

Iced tea with Mickey location

After the train ride I walked to the hospital in a record 22 minutes.
That time could be improved by a few minutes if crossing the last big road, just in front of the hospital wouldn't be so mafan. Six lights to get to the other side!!! Major time loss :(

Boat ride to cross the river in GZ

After the screening that also included a blood test, I met up with Mickey. She's back 'home' in HK for a few days before going back to her other homes, around the globe. We had lunch, shopped a bit and strolled over the boulevard. It was good to see her in real life!

I decided to walk back to the station and to try an alternative route. Ahem, it turned out a bit too alternative for my taste but I found my way in the end...... I would not recommend walking most of it alone at night. Although it might be OK. Small alleyways behind buildings, only meters from where you want to go, but no way to get there from ground level.

I was happy to be home and to put Lexie to bed. I followed not too long after.

dinsdag 8 januari 2013

Lexie update

Lexie is learning how to do new things fast, it is very cute. 
This morning I was visiting a friend and I asked Lexie to give 'auntie' a cookie. She did it and gave us a big grin! She was less cute last night with a huge screaming attack out of nowhere. I was home alone with her and she was in the big bed with me. All of a sudden she relaxed and went back to sleep, with loads of sobbing still...... She was her normal happy self again in the morning.

We ended up taking the bus to my friends' house because there were lots of other people waiting for a cab downstairs. All carrying small kids or pregnant so I couldn't try to steal one, hahaha. Now don't be too shocked!! It's all fair game here. People just ignore others and run for it. Very annoying but if you can't beat them...... 
A nice guy gave up his seat for us so all was well. I do feel that people are slightly nicer for each other lately. Or maybe it is just Lexie's cuteness bringing out the best in them ;)

I'm still amazed at the amount of clothes grandma and grandpa manage to put on Lexie. You'd think we're heading out for a polar excursion! Lexie doesn't seem to mind and I keep a close eye on her to prevent her from melting.

zondag 6 januari 2013

Sports event at kindergarten

Lexie's life as VIP continues ;)

We're at the sports day event of her future kindergarten. Yes, as VIP, including a table with red cloth and bottles of water, hihi. There's music and dancing (sports, not so much......) so Lexie is happy.

zaterdag 5 januari 2013

First mobile phone blog

Yesterday I got my hair straightened. I never thought about having this done as my hair is already super sleek. Sleek with unruly parts that keep jumping out....
I decided to give it a go and I like the result! Sleek hair, like sleek hair should be; no crazy twists in awkward places!

It took quite a while. First some kind of liquid was divided through my hair (smelly stuff!!). It got washed out and my hair was blown dry. The hairdresser treated my hair strand by stand with a straightening iron. This took forever!! The last part was to put in another liquid that then was washed out later. Then I was ready for a cut.

The hairdresser told me that the straightening would take half an hour. Uh uh, I took about an hour and a half, leaving me with no time before my next class. In the end I made it home 3 min before my student and his mom arrived!

We had a good class and later I had fun with Lexie. She was saying 'bye bye' the whole time. I said 'Oma bye bye' and she would repeat. Ultra cute!! 'Pappa bye bye, Opa bye bye, mamma bye bye' all came out smoothly :)