Greek food and Chinese Mythology
Updated: Mar 7
Just like that, Gideon finished infant school! He starts year 3 in August. He and Emily broke up on Friday, having only been back for about 4 weeks since lock down. Definitely felt emotional witnessing him receive his certificate, feeling a hopeless attempt to resist the thief of time that has ushered my baby into a mere past memory. We celebrated finishing term by ordering Greek kebab sharing platters which is just a slightly classier, tastier, but just as greasy version of the wonderful KFC family bucket.
It was my turn with my co host; Mike Low of Malaysia, to lead the language exchange on Sunday and we brought the topic of the dragon boat festival, 'Duan Wu Jie' as it is the public holiday for this festival this weekend. I was preaching to the converted, knowing next to nothing about the festival myself, it pretty much ended up in role reversal, with the group teaching me and not vice-versa. Interesting to note that every Chinese festival, (there are 4 main ones in the year), are based on legends, of which there are varying versions depending on your hometown or region. The legends usually are around famous characters who either commit treason, commit suicide, have a special power, or end up in the sun or somewhere in space. I think its super important to celebrate and connect to the past and that storytelling is a significant thread in the fabric of culture but there's a stark distinction between celebrating a myth as supposed to a true historic event such as Jesus' birth and resurrection, which are of course the foundations of our European festivals. How can myths really shape or influence the future?
We had 24 hours in Shanghai yesterday and today. It was surprising to find that the overall feel was more chilled out towards Covid19, no temperature checks or health code checks on the subway or going into buildings, which is slightly odd as Shanghai has two large international airports. We did quite a bit of walking around some of the French Concession, the best part was just exploring and discovering, there is so much to the French Concession, I like the little hutongs (residential alley ways) filled with unique shops and stalls, quaint staircases and terrace cafes, art galleries and pottery wheels. I really want to organise a girlie trip back to Tianzifang in particular. We even found ourselves in the meteorological centre where they do the weather forecasting and we had a go at standing on the green platform and looking into the camera. Lunch was at 'Avec Toi' , a tiny, almost doll's house sized cafe selling French patisseries: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g308272-d14054017-Reviews-Avec_Toi-Shanghai.html . I enjoyed this Shanghai trip more than the previous ones too because we minimalised the amount of stuffing onto the subway and the children managed quite well with the walking that was interspersed with pit stops and thanks to Gideon; inventing our own rounds of the song 'London's burning' (his composures included a Peterpan and a Starwars version) and creating a photo competition around the topic: 'Blue', (thanks Mike for the thoughtful input in the theme there). A few entries can be viewed below: