When I travel, I usually keep a diary, sometimes in a bound blank book and sometimes on my blog (depending on web availability and performance). My husband John left yesterday afternoon for a two-week business trip to China, so this is my non-travel diary. John texted me when his San Francisco – Hong Kong flight landed about 3 am this morning, then he called me at 7 am to say he had reached his hotel in ShenZhen. As usual, John is staying at the Hasee Paradise Hotel near the Huawei campus. I have stayed at the Hasee myself and it is a pleasant place – although the limited breakfast buffet every morning gets boring quickly.
- Last night, a friend and I had dinner at the Great Khan’s Mongolian stir fry and then went to see the movie “Brave” which we both enjoyed. The Pixar animation, music, and story are all good. Paul (my usual movie-going partner) did not want to see “Brave” so Stephenie Cooper and I went.
- This morning, the construction guys were outside the house early working on the new concrete base. The pour is scheduled for later this week. We are fixing some dry rot and a floor that shifted out of level in John’s model train room and workshop. Also, we are pouring a pad for Paul’s potter’s wheel – see picture below. This is part of Paul’s new clay studio in the side yard. See Paul’s ceramics at: Paul’s Element. I am in charge of construction oversight while John is traveling.
- I noticed that one the Cereus cactus has a bloom bud (which now looks like a small black ball of fuzz) – see picture below. I will enjoy watching it develop during the next week – the spectacular flowers are often ten inches across.
- Tuesday noon at work, Yingying Lu holds a class for us English speakers in conversational Chinese. In addition to working on basic vocabulary and pronunciation, we are collecting suggestions for helpful software. My suggestions so far include the following iPhone applications:
- Eng-Chi Pro (English to Mandarin Pro – talking translator phrasebook) by Medianet
- KTdict+ C-E, Chinese-English dictionary by Klaus Thul
- QingWen Chinese Dictionary by Karan Misra
- John called by Skype during my late afternoon when he woke up – before he went to work in ShenZhen. He said it is raining and hot in China.
- I noticed going to dinner that Tavistock Freebirds – a beer and wine bar – is replacing the (now being demolished) Baskin Robbins – Togo’s, formerly near the Pasta Pomodoro Restaurant on The Alameda in San Jose, CA. Business must have been very bad for someone to tear out an ice cream shop during the 95 degree San Jose summer.
- I took one of the dogs for a walk in the neighborhood after dinner. Redda enjoyed her walk but I could hear Gilroy whining a block away – he did not want to be left behind. I can’t manage to walk two energetic dogs at the same time. Maybe I will walk with Gilroy tomorrow.
- I am almost done reading The Night Circus, a fantastical novel by Erin Morgenstern. I have enjoyed it but the book could have been a third shorter to better effect.
Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson