This week the Spring weather suddenly came upon us here in Beijing. The daytime temperatures soared to 13, 15, 20 degrees! It’s finally warmer outside than inside! And the overnight temps are almost always above zero. It’s very exciting. My puffy coats are back in storage til next winter, which is a very lovely thing. I saw my first blossoms today, and noticed that the trees outside my bedroom are beginning to bud. The delicate willow tree branches are a pale yellow green as the leaves prepare to unfurl. We even had a minor dust storm today, so now you KNOW it’s Beijing in Spring :)
It’s truly a magical time of year. It wasn’t until I moved to China that I really understood the power of SPRING. When you see those first flowers, it’s a promise that winter won’t last forever. Oh, it’s wonderful! And the symbolism runs so deep. Sydney barely has seasons, but I thought Canberra had four seasons until I came here. Canberra might have winter, but it’s not the depths of cold and dark and grey colourlessness that happens here. I can’t imagine living any further from the equator. I’d probably go crazy.
Speaking of going crazy, it’s been a bit of a China week house-wise. We’ve had problems with the handles on our inside doors on and off for a while. I got locked out of my bedroom several times when the lock broke. Eventually two handles got replaced. Two more have been having trouble and I let the landlady know they would need to be replaced soon. On Monday the door to my study broke and I was locked out of the room.
I called the landlady but she and her regular handyman are both out of town My flatmate is out of town, too. And I have friends arriving from Canberra who will be sleeping in that room tonight with their 15 month old son. So the room needed a handle! Working most of two jobs leaves little time for running errands, but somehow I found time to get the wuye (housing management handymen, I guess?) up to take off the door handles, go to a hardware store to buy new handles, and get the wuye back to install them. Then they told me the door handles I bought were completely the wrong sort and impossible to install without carving up the door, which they don’t have the tools to do, and couldn’t help me find someone to help with.
So I found another piece of time to go BACK to the hardware store to return the locks I’d bought and this time found a DIFFERENT store person to help me buy locks. The lady helping me this time was much more helpful. So now the wuye are back trying to install them. So far, so good… but I’m still expecting something to go wrong. Pessimism: at least you’re never disappointed.
Maybe it sounds like a little thing, but remember that I don’t have a car, and I have very little time between activities. I’ve spend a lot of the past two days lugging around door handles/locks to school, youth group, you name it, walking around and in taxis. I’m stunned I haven’t misplaced anything in all the fuss. Thankfully, my small group didn’t meet today, which I didn’t know ahead of time, so I had time to get the new door handles installed. Not sure how I would have managed it otherwise!
In happier news, I just finished revising the bible study I wrote several years ago covering 6 of the 12 minor prophets. My sunday afternoon high school group just finished our study of Psalms and they want to continue meeting. I’m just sad I’ll miss four weeks with them while I’m in Australia. I’m pleased with how the new edition came out. I got rid of most of the typos (so far I’ve found two that slipped through) added page numbers and a contents page (it’s eighty A4 pages!!) and added some extra reflection questions.
Now I’m looking forward to picking up Nicole and Eddie (and Tobie) tonight, spending time with them, and going to Nick and Chloe’s wedding on Easter Saturday :)