Saturday, December 24, 2011

Zhenda ma?

On our way into Christmas Eve brunch at The Orchard, Parker found a
Liberty nickel in the parking lot...this is a very strange occurance!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sheng Dan Kuai Le!

Parker said this week that he wasn't sure if he was more excited for Christmas coming or for Granny's arrival on the 30th.  The rest of us feel the same, but certainly over these last few days Santa's arrival is of premium concern!  The boys have been off from school this week and we have spent most of the week relaxing at home with an excursion to the clubhouse pool and a little Christmas shopping mixed in. Also, I completed my third week of one-on-one Chinese lessons; fe cheng hao!  Depsite the fact that most Chinese don't celebrate Christmas, and if they do, it is it only the "santa" part, Li Laoshi and I spent this week's lessons discussing the vocabulary of Christmas, and yesterday she concluded class by asking me a question, "When do your children find out that you are lying to them about Sheng Dan Lao Ren?"

"Well," I said, "I mean this may be Parker's last go around with believing in him the way you are thinking, but we don't really think of it as lying.  We try to instill the spirit of giving into our boys and that Spirit is like Santa, you know?"  

She winked at me incredulously, "so they find out at 11 that you are lying?"    

We both laughed and I said, "Mei guo ren Zhong guo ren bu yi yang."  She laughed in agreement that Westerners and Chinese are just not the same. Nonetheless, I wished her Sheng Dan Kuai Le, and she did the same.

The plan is for Santa to come on Sunday morning, and Bennett has been busy noodling the way that Santa is going to land here 13 hours before heading to his cousin's houses in America.  Hopefully Santa will deliver some new snowboards for the boys and over the next two weeks of vacation we will check out the local ski mountains at Nan Sheng and The Olympic Green.  

Tonight Joanne and I will wrap by the fire after attending an open house down the street. While we would normally be spending the time with our loved ones up and down the East Coast, we are here and making the most of it with new friends who have also foregone a trip to the beaches of Thailand or Vietnam to stick around River Gardens for the holiday.  Likewise, tomorrow after we enjoy the morning by the tree we will venture to another friend's house and have Christmas dinner with the Marines from the embassy.  

Much like Thanksgiving this is the toughest time to be away from home, but we are going to have a wonderful couple of days of it together, and if you like we can send you an early warning message if in fact Santa does show up this year!

Sheng Dan Kuai Le!

Paul Koch (@pkoch9999)
+151 1692-2787

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Dragon Award!

So proud of Parker for this! He earned it for showing empathy when
another child, whom he did not know, fell off the playground
equipment; Parks helped the kid out. He didn't know he was being
watched, but an observant teacher referred him for the award.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let's Burger

We happened upon a new restaurant right down the street from the
house. It appears that it could be dangerous...

A Snowy Day in Beijing

Subbing in a 4th grade class today.

On the few minutes of break I had in the morning, I had the chance to
explain that this dusting of snowfall would have most likely closed
schools back where I come from.

"Really, no way? Where are you from?"

"Well, DC area, but a little further out, Fauquier County."

"Excuse me?"

"Fuh Kyer County," I said.


"Is that really what it is called?"


"Mate, can you get me some shirts that say that?"