Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank you Beijing, we had fun

Day 7 (Tues, 25 Nov 2008)

All too soon, it's time to leave Beijing. Sniff! Why does time always fly when you're having fun? My cousin asked Andre, "So which part of Beijing did you like best?" Without hesitation, he answered, "I like your house best. Because it's warm like my house." My son, the diplomat.

Well! Since it's his favourite part of Beijing, we spent a good part of the morning taking photos in my cousin's apartment.

I've not yet talked about my cousin's two cats, whom she calls her sons. They deserve a special mention as they'd shared the space with us (or rather, we invaded their space) for a week. They are absolutely beautiful long-haired cats who share her bed and rule the house. The one on the left is 乖 乖 (obedient) and the one on the right is 桃桃 (peach).

乖乖 is a stray my cousin picked up four years ago and 桃桃 is a companion she just recently adopted from a pet shelter. 乖乖 completely resented our presence. He would hide under my cousin's comforter sulking when we were around and emerge only when she returned home from work, yowling and complaining of neglect. He only warmed up a little towards the end of our visit, granting Lesley-Anne the privilege of stroking him and allowing his picture to be taken. 桃桃, on the other hand, is a socialite, indulging in our petting and attention, and helping himself to the usually dominant 乖乖's food while the latter was on strike.

But both were a great source of amusement for us - cats are such characters!

We took a last minute detour to a tea shop within the apartment's estate where again, the shopkeepers rush to serve my cousin fine tea and snacks. (She gets the royal treatment everywhere she goes!)

Then we piled all our luggage into a hired car and drove off for lunch enroute to the airport.

The restaurant serves Mongolian hotpot and is right next to where my cousin works, so she and her friend/colleague (the one who bought us that delectable Peking duck dinner) could join us for lunch.

This restaurant is more upmarket than Little Sheep that we patronised earlier. Each person gets his or her very own hot pot with tonic soup. According to my cousin's friend, this tastes almost the same as the Japanese shabu shabu, right down to the sesame dip, but at a fraction of the price.

We ordered several platters of very finely sliced lamb and beef - delicious. I could eat a mountain of these, especially since you generally don't get served rice in Beijing, so no carbo to load up on!

Here's just part of what we ordered.

And then it's off to the airport for our flight home. I think Beijing was a bigger success than we could have imagined. All that history and culture that I was worried wouldn't sit well with the kids turned out to be quite palatable, probably due to the breathtaking beauty of the scenery. In many places, the scenes looked like something straight out of your chinese literature book.

I'm not sure if we'll ever make it back to Beijing although it's tempting as my cousin has so generously extended an open invite. But for now, the kids are savouring their memories by replaying Kung Fu Panda over and over - yup, we brought it home with us.


Lilian said...

Didn't know your kids liked looking at Panda embroidery so much *wink wink*. Must be their cultured upbringing :)

monlim said...

:D no comments...