So after months of chatting on skype and by email we finally got to meet Renee and Barry who lived here in our apartment before us last year and told us so much about life in Lin’an. They are returning to China after some months back in the US meeting their family and travelling,and Renee will be working at Shanghai Normal University.So they arrived by bus in LIn’an on Friday afternoon and came over. The first evening we had a dinner for them and invited some old friends, Mark and Diana and Patrick. IT turned out to be Patrick’s birthday on Saturday so he brought a massive cake from the renowned 85 bakery and we had a lovely relaxed evening together. Then on Saturday we arranged a meeting for Renee with a lot of her former students who came to the recreation area in the library to catch up -they told her what they have been doing and she told them about her travels. Following this was much hugging and taking of photos.. We had dinner at Renee’s favourite campus restaurant the Camphor Tree along with Mark and Diana and Becky.Then the four of us (Renee,Barry ,Danny and I) talked a lot into the night and now of course we are old friends and feel as though we have known each other for years.
Next day Renee and Barry had intended to get the afternoon bus back to Shanghai but as there were no tickets left they got tickets for this morning (Monday) and so we had another day together which fortunately was lovely and sunny so we got to walk around the campus lake and drink tea in the tea house and look at all the city kids flying kites,roller blading and racing remote controlled boats on the lake.In the evening we had soup and jaozi and were joined by Zhou Ting the art student who teaches me Chinese.IT was such a lovely memorable weekend.