Moms Can Have Finals Too

I can study like a college student, even though I'm .... let's just say getting up there in years, by evidence of the falling chin!

Tonight I’ve had my final exam in my first class of Chinese. I’ve finished a whole book!

A week or so ago I actually used only Chinese to talk to a taxi driver–no reliance on iPhone taxi cards to tell him where to go. And when he couldn’t find the apartment building we were looking for, (I’d been there a few weeks before, so I vaguely remembered what it looked like) I was able to tell him to turn around and go left and right and go straight and go left and right and …..and by the time we finally found the place we were both laughing and felt like old friends.

I haven’t just been studying, although everyone here seems to think so, because Christmas is just around the corner and we have people coming!! Must decorate! Must look Christmassy!

But evergreen trees don’t grow in China! Now what?

In China, you go to the flower market.

Rumor has it, they have trees. Will they?

Yes! But they're in pots. Really. Big. Heavy. Pots. Huh. Not what we were expecting.

What does one do when Christmas is over? I personally am not interested in having an evergreen tree growing in my apartment during the summer. And worrying about them leaking water on the floors and crashing through to the next floor would keep me awake all night.

I also read on another blog that some of them don’t actually have roots–they’re cut off and stuck in the pots, so they’ll just die like a regular Christmas tree! Which actually I would be fine with, if I wasn’t paying for a live tree. But then what do you do with this enormous pot? Hide dead bodies in it?

Jackpot! Real trees, imported from Canada. Pricey, but in excellent shape. Sold.

The wonderful thing about China? You can get all sorts of things delivered--like Christmas trees. And they even set it up for you!

All decorated. Probably the best tree we have ever had. We just had to come all the way to China to get it 🙂

A panorama of our living area. Note the "fireplace" app playing on the tv to complete the scene! We also bought centerpieces made from more traditional Chinese greens with a few things like pinecones thrown in, as you can see on the tables.

Mark’s Chinese teacher, who comes to the apartment for his lessons, was a bit mystified by the decorating, especially the whole bringing a tree into the house thing. It is rather odd if you think about it.

Meredith got ready for our first guests with a custom sign

Here they come down the trail of other sign holders!

The first two safe and sound, and ready for jet-lag

Tomorrow: Brooke and Tina, Meredith’s two friends. Their plane should be taking off about now.

I’ll also be doing a “Christmas in Shanghai” post to let you see all the decorations here in Shanghai.

 

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About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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4 Responses to Moms Can Have Finals Too

  1. m kelly smith says:

    Congratulations on completing your first book of Chinese lessons. Are you a graduate now or is there a 102 after Chinese 101 or would that be a 201????? I forget… 🙂

  2. Nevin Dawn Harmison says:

    Little Sister, your tree is beautiful! Really enjoyed seeing the panorama view of your home too. Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas — say/sing each word quickly and maybe you will ‘hear’ part of a song you know.
    Love,
    Nevin

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