24–7 Summer begins

The cool breeze when leaving the apartment in the morning at 5:45 is now gone, displaced by all-day stewing heat. Run yesterday morning was particularly challenging in the overcast muggy heat. Terrific cacophony of air activity when sitting outside for my post-run coffee, my first reaction being “it’s all started”- WWIII, but then it goes quiet and I can smirk off my neurotic confabulations. Reminds me of my fear when I was younger that the sun had exploded when I would hear rumbling in the sky. Of course the radiation would have already wiped us out before the sound arrived, so an even less plausible confabulation. Turns out the 100th anniversary of The Party is coming up and there are rehearsals for the various military displays that will be going on in celebration.

Was back home for a rinse in the shower before a quick turnaround and out for the birthday party of a friend’s daughter yesterday morning, Arthur being exceptionally shy with both the other toddlers and their owners!

There are a large group of small children who play together in the complex. (You will have seen photo of some of them in previous posts!) Recently there was an incident were one of Arthur’s close pals, Frankie, upon having one of his toys snatched, bit another kid’s arm and there was a little bit of blood. The kid’s granny was pretty cool and reasonable about it and Frankie’s dad filmed a video of him and his son apologising and publicly posted it to the Wechat group of kiddy-minders and parents. This however turned out not to be enough for the mother of the kid bitten, who when into a tizzy with harsh language in the group, and insisted to be brought to a hospital to get the arm checked. Even after the doctor saying it was nothing, she was not convinced and decided a trip to a second, different, hospital was needed to allay her concerns. Poor Frankie’s dad was completely obliging throughout the whole process, but it was certainly a warning shot to us about which psycho-parents and children to avoid!

Meanwhile, Zhouzhou’s brother has been bothering her to borrow money. The need for this has come about because he’s recently scraped together the cash to buy a villa in Changsha, this being on top of the apartment he already had bought for him. He has just gone above the 50grand (stirling) budget he set aside for getting his pad decked out and thus needs more cash to finish the job. This irks me primarily for 2 reasons, the first being that he is living well beyond his means and thinks Zhouzhou is being unreasonable when she has cash “sitting there” (ie saved up gaining interest so that we can potentially buy a place when ever the opportunity should so arrive). The second being he regularly borrows cash, doesn’t pay it back when he says he’s going to, and gives no interest (nor mentions it). Given that bank bonds here can reliably give back 4%, that’s no trivial amount given the sums he borrows! Zhouzhou has always been a bit soft in this regard, so trying to work out a way to navigate it as harmoniously and reasonably as possible!

Recording again with our new Egyptian pal

Today (Monday) is the Dragon-boat festival so have had a fairly chilled out day in the house. Fry for brunch with homemade potato bread!

Living in Beijing. Everyday trivialities, trivial thoughts.