This weekend felt like we had been hit with “party whirlwind”.Our elder son arrived for a visit to China,part business and part pleasure. He wanted to meet potential leads for his new business Shapedo,but of course also to play the tourist a little,and spend some time with us.We have really not spent a lot of time together since we have been in China for the last 3 years, and have only been back on short visits.So naturally we were pretty excited to have him come up to Xiamen, He flew in to Hong Kong and spent a couple of days with an old friend of ours who lives there. He seems to have been wined and dined there.Then he went over to Shenzhen to check out a makers fair there. The original plan was for him to get a train up to Xiamen from there. We had already taken into account the long Holiday weekend of May 1st here in China, and that was why the plan was for our son to stay put over that time and not attempt to travel.It is well known that the holiday weekend is mayhem here,due to the large numbers of Chinese on the move.However, there were no train tickets to be had.So he finally flew in to Xiamen Airport following a mysterious 2 hour delay,caused by “military activity” in Fujian province (who knew?)
We pretty much spent the whole time he was here with friends,partying and eating.He was keen to sample the “strange foods” he had heard about in China,and was certainly not shy to give that a go. He had various kinds of seafood (sea cucumber,oysters) and even some frog.Actually I gave that a go too and it was pretty good.Maybe some of those seafood things are not so unusual but in Israel they are hard to come by.
One evening we had dinner with our upstairs neighbour Alex at a new HotPot place that just opened across the street- 45 RMB for unlimited hotpot serve yourself from the moving carousel and drop items into the bubbling sauce of your choice.
We also had dinner with our student friends at XMUT- a group of people that we have become very close with since we prepared them for Speaking competitions here over the last two years.I think it was really a good experience and a lot of fun.
We also had dinner with another very good friend,Daniel Chen.He is a guy from Taiwan whom we met on our way to Taiwan last year,when he helped us out with our ferry tickets.Since he lives and works here in Xiamen very near to us we spend a lot of time with him,and he loves to take us out for dinner and drinks.He insisted it was his turn to invite us out,and took us to a Western style restaurant downtown.We were joined by a French guy called Gilles who is also in the 3-D printing industry.He wanted to meet our son so we asked Daniel if it was okay for him to join us at the restaurant.
Later we went to a bar at Haiwan Park called La Havana, and were joined by our lovely friend Hamburger.
But maybe the highlight was the Farewell Party for our Italian friend Celeste.She is a teacher of Italian at Jimei University who is going to Beijing for a couple of months,and by the time she returns to Xiamen we will be gone.She invited some friends to party with her at her apartment,and we figured that there were people from at least 8 different countries speaking a babble of Chinese,English,Italian,French and Hebrew there. Celeste regaled us with Spaghetti bolognaise and other Italian delights and of course the alcohol flowed freely.(An enebriated Hamburger singing with a bottle of Qingdao Beer as a microphone was part of the entertainment). We all had an amazing time.We realized how many friends we have made in our time here and how much we are going to miss the people and the lifestyle here.
We did do a little sight-seeing too.We showed our son the beautiful campus of Xiamen University,the Nanputuo Temple nearby and our friend Hamburger who works as a tour guide sometimes took us around.We also spent a day going around Jimei,to show him the less touristy side of Xiamen.
So now those amazing 5 days are over,it’s back to work (but only for another 4 weeks) and our son has departed for the delights of Shanghai.We will teach here till beginning of June,which is the end of the semester and then will be off to Thailand and Laos.Stay tuned…..