Working off line again. Internet access and mobile phones are kind of problem. In our hotel room, we have difficulty getting signal. Plus it changes from weak to non-existent. The first night when another helpful patron gave me the password, he commented that it was “rubbish,” one of my Anglicized daughter Sarah’s favorite expressions.
Also, Eileen and I aren’t exactly power users of our phones. Jeremy helpfully switched in some local sim cards for us, but the options on our phones flip around in bewildering ways due to rebooting. Eileen only yesterday figured out that her cellular network was turned off on her phone. So we are babes in the woods in more ways than language and culture.
I have been putting up few pics daily on Facebook. Showing people (“friends” in Facebook nomenclature) pictures of your vacations as it is happening feels terminally narcissistic but I’m pretty sure a few (family mostly) are interested.
The Art Museum was a bit of a bust. The main exhibit which would have been very interesting to see was closed. “Depicting the Chinese Dream” is still in the process of being installed. According to the pamphlet it opens today. Oh well.
We did see “The Art Class of Ludwigs.” According to the pamphlet, Peter and Iriena Ludwig are “world class art collectors” from Germany . Donated back in ’96, “This is the first time for China to have a vast collection of Western Art.” There were no Engish translations of any information about the art so it was kind of cool to just walk around and look at art that dated from the 70s to the 90s.
The other display was “Tracing the Past – Painting the Future.” in order to celebrate the 170th birthday of Wu Changshuao the museum had put up a selection of traditional calligraphy like paitings of birds and flowers starting with Wu’s work. It was excellent stuff but there were no benches to sit down on except the ones in front of a video presentation about the exhibit. Again no Englsh translations but I did sit for a while and enjoyed watching the video.
Sight seeing gives me time with Eileen and Sarah which I quite enjoy. And it gives our hosts a break. Having this much family around after a birth has it’s plusses and minuses. One of my goals as a dad (and father-in-law) is to do no harm which is not as easy as it sounds.
Today we head off for the Forbidden Palace (which keeps rattling around in my addled pop culture brain as theFortress of Solitude). Eileen and I lay in bed this morning reading up on it, she on her Lonely Planet guide on her Kindle fire, I on a copied Wikipedia page on my Kindle.
As I’m writing this, Eileen informed me that Gmail is not blocked when used from our phones. I did not know that. Facebook and Google are blocked with browsers but apparently one can still do email (and upload pics to the same) with one’s smart phone. Man, we really are babes in the woods.