First time on this blog? Beijing Traffic Lesson: Left Turn is probably a good place to start.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Flag Day, Everybody!

Wife In Beijing Countdown: T-minus 2 days!

My dinner tonight? The same meal I make every Flag Day in Beijing: my very own sesame pork fried rice with cashews, egg, onion and bell pepper stir fried in soy sauce, potato chips, pickles and a Yanjing Beer.

Oh, these are the days when it's hard to be away from home, all the way on the other side of the world in Beijing. The holidays, rich in tradition and happiness, when the lonely traveler's heart yearns for the simple warmth of treasured time among friends and family.

Why, right now, I'm sure you're all gathered around the Flag Day tree, watching with bemused delight as the children open their presents, their eyes lighting up with joy.

Later, family and friends will assemble for the time-honored Flag Day feast of turkey and candied yams. Once the dishes are cleared, I'm sure you'll all relax in front of the TV for the traditional Flag Day game on TV - Devil Rays/Rockies, of course! - or perhaps go out in the yard to look for gaily colored Flag Day eggs that the Flag Day bunny has left behind.

"Look at me!" says little Billy, proudly showing off his Flag Day costume. Later he'll go Flag or Treating with the other children in the neighborhood, coming home with his treasures, and then staying up past his bedtime to watch the traditional Flag Day fireworks.

He'll try to stay up 'til midnight to watch the flag drop in times square, but the poor little guy is tuckered out from all the Flag Day festivities. As you tuck him in, looking for all the world like the classic Norman Rockwell Flag Day painting, he'll stir briefly and say:

"This was the best Flag Day ever!"

Happy Flag Day from Beijing, and God bless us, every one!


One of the designers had her last day in the office today, and when she sent around her good-bye email, I noticed that the English name she had taken - not making this up - was Banana.

Good bye, Banana! I'm sure you are a very good person, but since I never met you, the only tribute I can pay is to make fun of your name.

And besides, what IS it with me and bananas?

Looks like I'm going to Hong Kong July 14-16. I'm actually really looking forward to that.

I don't know what brand because it was in Chinese, but it clearly said Sesame Oil. Or perhaps it was a mislabeled bottle of goat bile. In any case, I had to pull the skillet off the range and give it a quick wash and go back to the olive oil (!) I've been using here for my "Chinese" cooking.