Receiving special parcels from lovely people is always going to make for a glorious day. Especially two days in a row. Both containing ALOT of chocolate. Then to stumble upon a gorgeous little street next to an art school, filled with second-hand books…in English…and clothes upon clothes of delight. Fate? that the two things I wanted to buy, both very expensive, were found in a second-hand store on this lovely street. Both sitting on one shelf, waiting for me. I believe. Fake. But that’s OK. It’s the same thing underneath.
A lunch alone. But not alone. Apple offers me food and makes friends with me. She is six years old. She is cute. Two older men join my table. Lunch time. The busiest time of day in China. We share our teapot. They have kind faces and I quickly try to create as many possible phrases in my head to chat to them with. They speak English. Extremely well. One studied in Australia. They ask me questions. In English. I reply in Chinese. This is a game we play alot in China. Irony? I was sweating under my four layers. I am losing my Scottish strength for dealing with the cold. But then put me in a situation with strangers and Chinese vocabulary and pressure to use chopsticks well, and I sweat, no matter how cold it is.
Running into the cold air soon revives me and first-time fake tree is purchased. I carry her and protect her from the crowds. We make it home in one piece, only a few branches bent.
Sitting here now, wearing twelve red bows, a silver star on her head, tiny twinkling white lights, she looks beautiful. My first tree by myself. My first fake tree. But my second Christmas in China. An interesting story that will be, no doubt.
Merry Christmas to you.