vrijdag 29 november 2013

Out and about with Isabelle

Hanging out in the lobby of the fancy W hotel. 

Meeting auntie Sue for the first time!

Gorgeous weather. Nice for a stroll from the W to the zoo cafe....

That's where this blog is coming from!

Say Izzie, do you like being out and about with mom?? I think the answer is yes :)

vrijdag 22 november 2013

Quick blog

Hi everyone. I'm on the train to HK for my  visa run now. I've been trying to upload a blog with cute baby pics but the internet is not cooperating. 
Just a quick note here that all is well. 
I will post a more extended blog (with pics!!) next week. 
I've got a little part time job writing articles for a website (in English). Pretty cool to have a writing job in a foreign language ;) haha. OK, that's it for now, bear with me, more details next week!

zaterdag 9 november 2013

A full week :)

On Monday Anastasia arrived in Guangzhou. I met her 3 years ago during a music festival she produced here in town. She had some free time on Monday so she came by to meet Izzie. They got along well immediately. After hanging out for a bit we went for a walk through the old neighborhood. Hehehe, not your typical NYC stroll! To calm the senses we sat down for an iced tea and a snack at the end ;)
Izzie and Lexie in the same onesie. Lexie was 6 months old at the time of this pic..... Izzie only 3!!
On Tuesday we (Izzie and me) went to have lunch with aunties Lieke and Nicole. The place we went to turned out to be totally crap service wise. Everything I ordered wasn't available and when my food arrived they had just cooked something completely different. Only similarity was that the dish had eggplant in it. I asked for the menu to be sure what was supposed to be in my dish and it didn't even resemble it. Grrrrrr. The girl took away my plate just to report back a few seconds later that 'this is the way we make this dish now'. Uhmmmm, no. I'm not stupid!! She then offered to go make the real dish, only to reappear a few minutes later to say that 'this dish is no longer available'. Grrrrr, amateurs!!

We were getting a bit fed up and Nicole shared some of her dish with me. Too bad that the service is so bad because the food that did make it to our table was pretty nice. Not nice enough to deal with that level of stupidity though. Nope, we won't be back.

Look who's being all cultural, haha. Enjoying the concert together with Lola.

On Wednesday I got to go to the Yo-Yo Ma concert. I posted this on Facebook with as a result a very excited phone call from Lola. 'What?!? Yo-Yo is in town?! When is he playing? Will he be here longer??' I told her it was a one night only concert whereupon she ran out of her office to go buy a ticket. Luck had it that we ended up sitting together!

My old orchestra. Nice to hear them perform again. 

The concert was very good. Lots of newly commissioned contemporary Chinese music so I wasn't bored for a single second. Besides Yo-Yo there were 2 other soloists. Before the break a lady on ZhuDi (bamboo flute) played a concerto and an encore that consisted of bird calls. Impressive. Another soloist played a duo concerto with Yo-Yo. He played the Sheng (a small hand held wind organ). Excellent musicianship and a joy to hear him play. As an encore he did another duo with Yo-Yo but this time he sang. About a beautiful girl, of course. 

Lola had fun as well. I took her backstage during the break and she found that very cool, haha. Anastasia dropped by too and we had a short chat. Nice cello guy offered me a hard copy of the book I helped him a little bit with. After the concert I cycled home. It was good to cycle again and I noticed that the many squats I did made my legs much stronger. Cycling up the steep slope of the bridge was almost a breeze!

The book :) A very nice cello player from the orchestra put this book together. During breaks he would come and ask me to help him translate markings in the music. We got very busy during Mahler symphonies ;) 

Yay, my name in a book!
On Thursday we got to hang out more with auntie Nastya, who had a rare (almost) free day off.
In the morning I took Izzie to the GWIC coffee, while Anastasia took care of one meeting. Izzie was super popular and she got 'kidnapped' straight away. I didn't see her for over an hour ;) I did get sporadic updates about her whereabouts, hihi.
Izzie and auntie Anastasia chilling out during a cab ride.
After the coffee and the meeting we walked over to baby massage class. Izzie was completely happy snuggled in the carrier with Nastya, who was very happy as well ;)
The class was nice and we learned how to massage Izzie's feet and legs.
Some shopping needed to be done so we headed for the jade market. Pfffff. I don't know what happened there but all the opening bids from the vendors were 1500 RMB, even for the tiniest bit of jade. Most of them didn't even want to negotiate! We found one guy that didn't start with super crazy prices and Nastya paid what she wanted in the end.

It had been a full day already and we were ready for a foot massage. Izzie didn't agree and cried without calming down. She didn't give a peep all day long even after being cuddled by strangers all morning. She was just super tired so I took her home. Nastya finished her massage and joined me later. Lexie came by to play which was super nice. She loves, loves, loves books!!! We 'read' at least six of them. When daddy came home we took Lexie back to grandma's. Another new Lexie thing is 'mamma rennen'. Hahaha, that means 'run mommy'. Ok, so we ran. 
Grandpa met us downstairs from their place and then it was dinner time!

We went to the big seafood restaurant on the other side of the river. We had a feast of scallops, crab, lobster and sturgeon. Yummmm. Happy ladies :) We said our 'by for nows' and off she was!

Nothing much happened on Friday. I was super tired because I'm back to working out and socializing. On top of baby care, I had enough action for one week!! :)

dinsdag 5 november 2013

The OMG, WTF, TMI group chat

Lexie's teacher added me to the group chat of parents in her class. 
I think I already told you about the non sense level in this group. 
Well, turns out that was nothing yet.....
We've reached a new low!! Good thing is I have something to tell you guys about ;)
Don't worry, the parents can't read this since blogger is blocked in China and I'm on here with VPN. 

*Translation (as literal as possible)

Parent 1: teacher Wang, xx recently fell in love with picking his nose. What to do? Slapping his hand doesn't help. 

Teacher: when xx manages to get the snot out he even comes to give it to me!

Parent 1: I'm also the recipient of this gift frequently. 

Parent 2: This is just part of the process, no need to worry. *

You think maybe parent 1 could send the teacher a PRIVATE message? Hahahaha. 
I'm with parent 2 ;)

I was a bit mean as well: in the group chat somebody asked if Lexie's mom was also there. I thought 'oh no, this can't be good'. I didn't want to reply in Chinese so I said in English 'I'm here'. Haven't heard anything since :P