I hope this finds you well. A fine blue sky has suspended itself over Beijing these past few days, lending a tranquil atmosphere to the place. The air, following a several-day warming trend, has cooled again, and sweaters and moccasins are once again in order. Part of it has to do with the fact that 'they' (the powers that be, I suppose) have officially turned off the heat for summer, and the radiators are cold.
Our friends here have travelled to Bangkok for the week (business, unfortunately, and not a much-deserved vacation), and we have temporarily inherited their dog. Her name is Sheira (I may be spelling that incorrectly). She is a nervous creature by nature - whenever we visited her usual residence, she offered a timid bark or two, and disappeared into the corner beneath a table.
Of course, I don't blame her. If I was eighteen inches tall, I would hide from Ari and Jude too. In fact, I'm 72 inches tall, and I sometimes feel like hiding from them.
I don't think poor Sheira was quite prepared for the sight that met her beyond the door to our apartment. We stepped in, only to see both Ari and Jude waiting, eyes suddenly exploding out of their heads with excitement. Sheira just turned around and tried to go back down the stairs. But to no avail.
Thankfully, there is a perfect spot in our apartment for her. A couch and an armchair completely block off an end table, and we just tucked her bed underneath. She likes Jessica and I, and ventures out when the boys have gone to bed.
Last night, I went for a walk with her, venturing into a neighbourhood that I had been a little nervous about walking in after dark. It's rather silly. The only thing that makes it any different from the others is that it doesn't have street lights. I think the street front is under construction, because it is flanked by walls on both sides. Sheira seemed happy as a clam (a strange feat for a dog) to be on such a long walk. And I, paradoxically, felt safe in her company - a dog who would sooner pee her non-existent pants than bite a would-be aggressor.
On a complete non-sequitur, here's a shot for all you side-car loving motorcycle enthusiasts out there.
I bought a fruit knife this evening, and the brand-name is "Cleverest Son's Wife". I suppose that because I am the only boy in my family, Jessica can use the knife without fear of alienating anyone.
And last of all, Jessica and I saw a trophy-winning picture setup, but didn't have a camera. A lady was buying a quilt set with the words "Imperial Concubine Quilt" written on the bag!