Also, recently here I found some new conditioner (they call it hair oil treatment here) which is sold in a jar and you scoop it out with your fingers. It is working really well (at last something that works!) and my hair is finally feeling soft again, rather than brittle. The trick in finding this stuff, is figuring out which “hair oil” is conditioner that you use after shampooing and rinse out, and which “hair oil” is stuff that you put in your hair and heat (or not) and leave on for 1/2 hour or more. I’ve decided it is easiest to tell if you just open the jar and look, since they aren’t sealed shut usually. Anyway, it’s nice not to walk around with a constant bad hair day, at last.
I also came back with some wool socks, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and warm slippers. Ahhh, warmness!!! Due to my tall size and big feet, these things are very difficult to find here. Me bringing back chocolate = I ❤ happy kids. Mr. Hot Stuff has also found some pretty good chocolate bars here – we just keep trying every new thing and every now and again we hit pay dirt. He’s been making toffee. He took some to work, and it evaporated. The Chinese have never had toffee (they sell it at import stores though – Almond Roca) and the engineers he works with thought it was heaven. Say what you want about the American sweet tooth, the Chinese may have us beat, they put sugar in EVERYTHING and seem to enjoy every opportunity to eat more of it. The “powers-that-be” want the citizens to consume more dairy (in spite of Asians in general being lactose-intolerant), make it into yogurt and add flavor and sugar and sell it as a nutritious drink. Eating more dairy makes you strong and tall; just look at the Americans (and ignore their waistlines). Personally, I think they might want to reconsider watering their congee and rinsing their enriched white rice before they cook it.
Miss E is visiting for Christmas. Two days ago, we went to a pedestrian shopping area that we discovered by adventure. It was pretty wonderful, though the shops mostly sold only clothes which won’t fit us (might fit Miss E); we saw some beautiful old buildings and stained glass windows – I took some photos and will try to upload them. Misses M and E bought strawberries dipped in sugar syrup which hardened into candy and were transported back in time to Chinese New Year in Taiwan. They thought they were in heaven. At one point we stopped to take some photos, and were suddenly crowded with a group of people who wanted to have their picture taken with us (mainly Miss E with her blond hair). Many Chinese have never seen a real, live American and get quite excited about the chance of meeting one and having a picture taken. It took us about 15 minutes before our impromptu photo-shoot was done. When we were walking away, Miss E said, “Wow, that was interesting, I’ve never been a novelty before.”
Our Christmas tree is a little unusual this year. There are plenty of artificial trees available here, but space and storage is a challenge. We decided to paint a large tree on canvas (two meters tall), and then paint ornaments on it. It could use a few more ornaments, but so far, so good and when we are done, we can roll it up and store it in a tube. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy.
Merry Christmas, Everyone! (in case I don’t get on here again before then)