Five years ago I lived on Hao De Xie street in China.
After long weeks of teaching I loved entering the gate of my building, (after buying an ice cream bar at the corner store. So cheap and so good! My favourite is a strawberry ice cream bar covered with white chocolate) running up to my apartment to change and then taking off to Baolong, the local mall for some Friday night fun.
I took refuge from loneliness in the crowds, bought some toys and teaching materials and usually either ended up at a local Chinese noodle place or Pizza Hut for dinner. I went to Pizza Hut only one time in Canada. The crust was so greasy it was practically dripping. Gross. Sorry Pizza Hut fans. But in China I was a fan. Fluffy homemade crust in beautiful hand crafted golden ripples around the pan. I would buy a whole pizza, eat a piece or two in the fancy dining room (it is not a fast food place in China) and chow down on a huge bowl of salad meant to feed a family. The rest of the Pizza came home.
Showing Forest my neighbourhood last week was even more satisfying than China Pizza Hut pizza. We walked to my apartment and stopped for the famous ice cream (if you are wondering about my recent dairy allergy my gut is healing yay! So I can handle a little dairy now)
Bought a funky Chinglish hat….
When Forest went to the washroom I had a few moments to reflect. My very active imagination always comes alive during those times. I pictured myself sitting in the booth as the 28 year old teacher five years ago tired and stressed on a Friday. Then I pictured coming up to her as my present 32 (almost 33) year old self enjoying a holiday on a Friday and sitting down in the booth (Yup, active imagination)
What would I say to the 28 year old? I would smile and tell her that everything was going to be all right. I would tell her to focus on just loving the kids and not worry about being a perfect teacher.
Then I pictured Forest coming out all suave, handsome and cool. The teacher’s future husband.
Well, Forest came out, burped loudly, patted his tummy and said “I’ve got gas.”
The daydream ended there. When I told Forest about my fantasy of him he laughed and said, “well, that’s reality.”
And I am so glad.
This next video is taken in our hotel lobby in another part of the city. Oops another reality is it didn’t upload properly at first so there are two copies. Just enjoy one!