Maria in NYC Music Project – Last Post

So she’s home! And I’m late in posting this because we’ve been really busy since she’s been back getting everything ready and sorted for school which technically started today, though it was just simple registration today. Proper stuff begins tomorrow with a 3 day orientation, classes not until mid September or so. The point though is that I’ve not had a terrible lot of time to blog. She’s also very jet lagged, so sleeping oddly, keeping me awake oddly, but we’ve managed to have a great time since she’s been back.

She got home real late Sunday night, close to midnight. She found the apartment pleasantly clean. I had bought her food earlier in the evening since I figured airplane food’s never that good or filling, and this time around it was no different. She managed to get the vegetarian meal, but it was also apparently the diet meal as well so there was basically nothing in it but some starch I think, no protein, few vegetables, few carbs or sweets, etc., so she was very hungry. She had requested that I have cold prickly ash noodles waiting anyway, and I also bought some chuanr, all waiting for her to get back and reheat. We unpacked a bit, relaxed a bit, ate a bit, and managed to sleep around 4 in the morning.

She still got up so early in the morning though! Early enough for us to head on out and get breakfast in the street, spicy tofu, porridge, oil stick. We then went for a nice long walk around the lakes, something that neither she nor I had done since she left. It turns out I actually did very little as far as socializing or going out’s involved since she’s been gone. We stocked up on beverages, and by mid afternoon she was asleep again. (Disclaimer: I’m not entirely sure of what happened these past couple of days actually due to the odd sleeping schedule.) At some point, we got up real early in the morning again, got breakfast again, then headed out to my father’s place to get registered at the police station. She gets 30 days to process her proper Residency Permit through Tsinghua, then she’ll need to go back to the police station and re-register using the new Residency Permit for the rest of the year presumably.

Ah, my grandfather had a stroke apparently. He’s alright, but in the ICU resting still. The doctors say he’s doing fine and that there are no further developments and he should be out of the ICU soon, but then moved to long term observation so that he can be properly taken care of in his old age (97). My grandmother’s in good spirits, but worried obviously, though oddly mostly on the logistics of the matter. Apparently my grandfather had this white, round permit that would have allowed him free access to any and all hospital services, but misplaced it. So instead they had to use the purple, rectangular permit that’s almost as good, but requires us to pay some money up front. We can get the money back, or most of it, when we get our new white, round permit from the appropriate bureau. She’s also very interested in contacting the relevant heads of the Academy of Sciences so that the relevant strings can be pulled to get him into hospital #306, the best one, where all the heads of state go. He is there, incidentally. But this whole process has made me acutely aware of just how many layers of bureaucracy there are in this country, and my father joked that Maria should join the communist party. Maybe I should to heh.

They think the stroke was brought on by over exertion which caused him to fall and break some ribs recently. Though quite old, my grandfather still insists on doing many active things, mostly for the good of the country, like participate in interviews. Most recently, a bunch of TV people had come over to their place, brought in massive daylight lights, closed up all the inside windows, and fired away with questions about their lives and past. My grandmother thinks he’s trying to do too much. Nothing would make her happier than for the 2 of them to live out the rest of their lives in relative peace and quiet, watching TV shows, chatting the afternoons away, writing the respective books, but my grandfather I guess still wants to do more.

This entire episode has nonetheless inspire the 2 of them to further their writing efforts, which would greatly benefit me actually. They both have fascinating and interesting life stories, and being much older than I, and being that I spent the majority of my life in the States, I actually know very little about the 2 of them, and would like to know more. So I told my grandmother to please, write, so that I may know her better. She’s worried that in her old age she’s lost the eloquence she once commanded in her writing, but I told her it’s not a concern. I just want to know more about her. Of course, I also think these will make great books, even in the Staes, and I want the raw material with which to craft a US published book.

I also had my first rehearsal with the IFC Youth Choir, which is a great though small organization at the moment, having only 5 girl members, 4 of whom are altos. We hope to expand, and expand fast. We’re also performing with the IFC Children’s Choir at the IFC Gala coming up soon.

IFC Gala 2010

IFC Gala 2010, September 11 at Capital M Restaurant

The IFC itself also has a concert coming up on October 16th, performing a Chinese composed piece I’d never heard of before called the Yellow River Cantata. I expect it’ll be good. Our first rehearsal for that starts this weekend.

IFC Yellow River Cantata 2010

IFC Yellow River Cantata 2010, October 16th at the Forbidden City Concert Hall

After my rehearsal, we were going to go and try to catch a movie, but she was still asleep and obviously very tired. She was going to just take a nap while I was at rehearsal, but I sort of figured she might not be able to wake up afterwards so I instead went and bought her some sushi to go and a boba milk tea, both of which she ate in the middle of the night when she finally did wake up. Today we managed to watch the movie though, after registering on campus. We say “The Expendables,” which was great fun, but not nearly as great as I thought and hoped it would be. Incidentally, I really think Chinese movie theaters don’t have their sound systems calibrated correctly. The bass was too high so the ambient sounds usually overpowered the dialogue, especially if they’re mumbling something oh so clever in that tough man sort of way. We had a long walk, from Tsinghua to my cousin’s work place to look at some apartments, then got ramen for lunch, which was great also. I had been craving ramen, and actually still am as the ramen I ordered was too spicy and had too much prickly ash and white pepper so the natural deliciousness of the ramen was overpowered. It shall be had again, and soon. We also got peanut slush, which was wonderful as always from the iTea kiosk in the mall where the theater is, oh and actual fresh, raw, walnuts! I had no idea walnuts had a fruit around it! Or that nuts in general have fruits around them! It was this kind of ugly looking round thing with a dark purple colored skin and on the inside, lo and behold, a walnut. These hadn’t been dried or roasted or anything, so they had a very vegetable like crunch to them which was again, highly unexpected. It tasted kind of like soybeans (edamame).

Um, I’m sort of meandering in this post because I’m actually very tired. Maria’s already sleeping, and has a long day tomorrow. I’m in charge of getting the requisite moneys together. The point though is that I should be sleeping also, and intend to, soon, but I wanted to write one more post under this heading so that there’s some sense of closure, because who knows how long it’ll be before I can post again being so busy now, and I thought I’d leave the blog in a good place for the time being so that no one is left hanging about what happened, whether Maria made it home safely, etc. I’m going to end it now with 2 songs I recorded, just for her, and her return.

Erasure – A Little Respect (re-recorded)

By me, for her – Come Home

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