Steve's China Blog

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time with friends

Last week they were having an Oktoberfest celebration at the Paulaner's restaurant in the Kempinski Hotel. It ran every evening from Tuesday night to Saturday night. I went on Wednesday night with some friends. Paulaner's had a really nice buffet of German food, and some good Oktoberfest beer they had brewed. They also had a band from Austria called Alpenrocker who played a mix of songs in German, some songs in English, and at least one song in Chinese.

It was pretty fun, but it was very warm that day and for some reason the restaurant didn't have their air conditioners up very high. I was also pretty tired from the long work day, so I didn't stay too long. After lots and lots of good German food and two beers I decided to go home. I got home at about 10:30pm or so. There was a lot of lightning flashing around, and we had a really huge thunderstorm later that night that went on until about 4:30am or so. We have been having a lot of rain just about every night.

On Friday night I went to Mooney's Pub at the Shangri-La hotel. The American Chamber of Commerce was having a TGIF Happy Hour party, and I thought I would go to represent IBM, since the people from the company who usually go tho these events could not go. Mooney's had a band from Australia called Peachy which was good. For a warmup act there was a very pretty Chinese girl who played some songs on an electronic fiddle. I ran into a bunch of friends there from the US, and a lot of what we talked about was football. It was a nice evening.

On Saturday I went to visit my friend Reese and some of her family who are visiting Chengdu. Her mother and oldest sister, Hong Ping, had traveled from Hunan province to visit Reese and her sister Rena. Hong Ping is thinking of moving to Chengdu, and I think her mother would like to play matchmaker between the two of us. Lunch was a large variety of Hunan dishes made with pork and vegetables as well as a chicken dish. I ate too much so I didn't need to eat much for dinner that evening.

Hong Ping is hoping that some day she can get a job translating books from English to Chinese. She can read very well, but needs some practice with her spoken English. The book she is currently reading is Jane Eyre which uses a lot of old English, and even I have trouble reading some of that. After lunch she read some of this to me. We also talked a little bit about Chinese writers, and she was very surprised that I had read works by Lao-Tzu and Zhuang Zi. It was an enjoyable afternoon, but I was a little tired since I got a support call from work early that morning and did not get as much sleep the night before as I had hoped.


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