Chinese Word of the Day 五星级旅馆
(wu3 xing1 ji2 lv3 guan3 literally “five star grade travel accommodations”) 5 star hotel
Bonus Chinese Word of the Day: 霸气
(ba4 qi4 literally “aggressiveness/hegemony/domineering”) awesome (contemporary usage)
Our dear friend Jenny (郑俊彦 Zheng Jun Yan) and her husband 孙志强 (Sun Zhi Qiang) were at our door by 10:30am this morning. The four of us met our favourite driver, Xiao He, at the small east gate and a 20 RMB ride took us to the Wuxi Gloria Grand Hotel, another five star hotel and site of the wedding of our friend Joey (Li Yufeng) and his bride, Gu Xiaoyan. Joey was the MC at Jenny’s Wedding last October, and he’s a member of that exclusive group of friends who have cared for GouGou over our summer vacation.This was the picture that greeted us in the hotel lobby, and I just assumed it was our friends without looking closely. An embarrassing mistake. This poster is of another couple who were being married in another ballroom of the hotel. Below is a wedding photo from our particular bride and groom, Gu Xiaoyan and Li Yufeng. I only discovered my mistake when they came to visit us on Monday evening, bearing flowers: It was simply a perfect wedding. The bride and the groom, Gu Xiaoyan and Li Youfeng, are a beautiful couple. The atmosphere at the wedding was clasual, with moments of laughter and fun, but touching and meaningful.
It was so great to see all the generations represented, from babes in arms to the ancients, trailing a mist of Chinese history as they move through a room.
Joey had asked us to perform a couple of songs and it was the very first time we’ve been properly miked with a good sound balance. Mr. Joe Shan, the man in charge at the hotel, made a special cable so that we could perform from the middle of the stage. He also gave me a fifty foot cable he’d put together so that I won’t have the short cable problem again. Thanks to him, having a pickup installed in the guitar finally paid off.
Ruth and I each had a microphone, and from what I could tell on stage the balance was pretty good. What a difference this all makes. My only problem with having the guitar
properly miked is that suddenly the mistakes I make are significant. I need to practice and clean up my playing. We sang the most romantic song we know, “You Belong to Me” by Pee Wee King followed by “Gongxi Gongxi” (Congratulations), a Chinese song for the new year with a crowd pleasing chorus.
I always feel a bit sad that the turtle’s amazing shell does it no good at all when it encounters humans. Ruth said the turtle reminded her of turkey dark meat. I couldn’t find that in it. To me it tasted strongly of fish, but not quite fish like. Once again the food was incredible. It was the first time I’ve seen a full sized lobster in China.
All in all a wonderfully warm and beautiful day. This is our last few months in China, after nine years here. I suppose I shouldn’t miss the place until after I’ve gone home, but I’m acutely aware that there is much I’m going to miss. Our friend and former Chinese teacher, William, was one of the guests today and extracted a promise that we will return for a visit when it’s time for him to get married next year. And then there’s George (Zhu Kai Ning) who surely will get married some day. So we’ll obviously have to return a couple of times at least.
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