China Journal‹Monday, February 25, 2002           


            It is way too late at night to be doing this but I want to catch up.  This will be a quickie.  We were scheduled to go back in to Beijing today for the trip to The Great Wall.  Frankly, Iım glad it was expected to rain today so this was postponed to, maybe, next weekend. 

            I declined the opportunity to go to the office in favor of organizing my belongings here.  I unpacked everything and had it neatly piled on the bed to decide what went in my big put-away suitcase and what would go in my small, roll-on case in the room.  Fu Ling was busy in the house and caught a glimpse of the bed.  When Zhang Jie woke up, Fu Ling sent her right in to ask, ³What are you doing?²  The answer to that took us about fifteen minutes of walking our way through the dictionary.  I love that dictionary for the marvelous dated sentences I run into.  The night before we had a long communication because Fu Ling was insisting that they would do my laundry. (They do not have a washing machine here.)  I want to be able to pull my own weight but this was going to take some convincing.  Zhang Jie and I must have worked on that one for about twenty minutes.  I looked up ³washing² and ³waited on² and Iım canıt remember what other words trying to find a phrase that would ring a bell for Zhang Jie.  I finally found it under ³share² where there were several sentences about the comrades sharing the work load.  I could tell from Zhang Jieıs face that she understood, so she went in to explain it to her mother.  That was okay with Fu Ling once she understood.

            At noon, Zhang Jie and Ding Bai and I walked over to the neighborhood restaurant for lunch.  The nine year old son of the owners was there.  Papa proudly brought him over to say that he was learning English, so I had them get out his book and we talked and read a bit.  He was darling, so I figure I can make it with my fourth grade class.  After lunch I wanted to take a walk to see some of the neighborhood.  Fu Ling has given them strict instructions to take good care of me, so they went on the walk too.  I donıt think theyıd ever been around in that part of the neighborhood.  On all sides what you see are six-story apartment buildings with more going up.

            The afternoon was spent finishing up the clothes organizing and trying to figure out the problem on why the email journals wouldnıt send even though everything else did.  Fu Ling herself cooked a delicious meal at night.