Sick, Weather, IFC, Maria Runs, Updates

So I’m sick, and have been for a few days. And I realize now that a good many of my blog posts begins with the word “So.” I wonder why that is…But I think it’s the weather.

It was like this when I was in New York; as the seasons noticeably change, I would get sick. This meant once when the summer months ended and winter began, and again when winter ends and it starts to warm. I probably got lucky the year and a half or so I was last in LA because there are no noticeable season changes there. But here, in Beijing, wow; it was quite warm when we first arrived, then all of a sudden, snow! Photos to follow incidentally. It’s been like that since the end of the month. It’s actually quite appropriate really, as November began, so did winter.

But I don’t like being sick. It throws off my sleeping schedule because I just sleep when I’m tired, and that happens at random intervals during the day. Other times I just can’t sleep because of the symptoms, like now. And in general, I’m just completely sapped of energy. I do think I’m getting better though. One of the good things about China is that most drugs are over the counter, including antibiotics. I’m taking those, and some other random Chinese medicine, to good general effect.

(Maria Runs)
Maria’s been getting more and more adventurous in her running lately. We’ve uploaded maps of her runs for anyone who’s interested.

I auditioned for and successfully got in to the Beijing International Festival Chorus! I was actually very nervous for some reason. I’m actually always nervous during auditions, never so during rehearsals or performances, but something about auditions rattles me. It looks pretty interesting, and the venue that they perform in is quite grand. They’re also very English which I find very amusing. The first rehearsal is tomorrow and though I am sick, I doubt I’m contagious, and I’d very much like to get back into the swing of things. Part of why I may have been nervous as Maria points out is that it’s been over a year and a half since I last sang. A pity really. I also hope to join their smaller group, the International Festival Chamber Choir. I don’t know much about hem yet though, but it seems like an added opportunity to sing and perform, which is always good.

As far as general updates go, I’ve been obviously a little bit absent from the renovation work going on at Connections Bar and Grill. Incidentally, the IFC people had heard of my restaurant! A testament to our current marketing scheme! I foresee great things in the future; this looks to be the start of a beautiful friendship! The schedule is still set though; we will open in one week. Next week will be the all important perfecting of our recipes, our new supply lines, and the hiring of new employees. As my father put it, I missed some of the craziness this week, but there’s plenty more next week, and it’ll all be mine. Yay. [insert sarcasm tag] I keep going over and over the operations of the restaurant in my mind, and it scares me.

You see, unlike in the States, where restaurant layouts make sense, apparently in China, regulations prohibit such things as a large open kitchen where one person can have easy access to all the supplies, utensils, plates, and cooking. You need a separate room, with its own wall separating it, for your dish washing and your produce preparation. This means that for one person to operate the kitchen in its entirety is for most intents and purposes impossible. That one cook will have to go to the “salad prep” room to get the produce ready, then go to the kitchen to cook everything, then go to the “dish washing” room to get the necessary plates before putting it all together. Apparently it’s a hygiene regulation.

So to get around this, I’m thinking we’ll keep the separate rooms because we have to, but just not use them. It just means there’s a lot of pressure on the cook, a.k.a. me, to make sure all the prep is done in the mornings and MOVED into the kitchen so that I won’t have to keep running back and forth between quite distant places…I’m thinking, down the line, once the restaurant is highly successful, a complete and utter overhaul of the kitchen will be needed. We’ll speak of this when the time is appropriate.

As far as renovations go at my apartment, I think we’ve hit a snag. Apparently it’s out of my hands, as it should since these are my mother’s renovations, but I think they’re doing it wrong. The plan was to rebuild the sun-room, this nice, enclosed patio type space on the second floor. There was some water damage because the roof was leaking, so they were supposed to tear it all apart, and redo it. Well the tearing apart went fine, but it looks like they’re walling up the windows! They’re just turning it into…a room. I doubt that’s what my mother had in mind. The problem with informing her is that this construction is already way behind schedule; they were supposed to be done by November 1st. And now if it looks like they’re doing it all wrong and will have to do it again but correctly, it’s just going to take even longer, and I just can’t wait for the day where I won’t have to worry about construction workers trampling through my home!

I think that’s all for now…I’m going to sort out some beautiful photos of Beijing in the snow and upload them next.


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