We walked about half a mile to what Andrew called "the closest thing we have to a store close by." It was comparable to a very small grocery and variety store. I saw bananas and it was great to see something so familiar. We got a number of cleaning supplies and other items we needed. I learned about paying in rmbs--and about making sure you bag your items before you pay. The locals do not like to wait once your transaction is done!!
I want to take a video of the road between Andrew's residence and the store. There are high rises and pockets of poverty interspersed all over the country. We definitely walk through poverty going to the store. I'll try to get video to share after getting home.
Andrew left to do an interview for an upcoming camp. I got busy doing what all mothers do well--laundry and cleaning. Had to remember again that--this is China. Only about five pieces of laundry can be washed at one time, and they must be hung to dry. If you hang them in the bathroom, they take forever to get dry, but if you hang them outdoors, they get covered with dust. I washed some dishes (no hot water in the kitchen) and forgot that if you run too much water the drain overflows. So the first order of business was to mop the kitchen floor. Then I tackled the bathroom and did two loads of laundry. The postage-stamp size kitchen will wait for another day.
Andrew's bathroom is what is called a "wet-bath." That means the shower is not a separate stall but is only separated from the rest of the bathroom by a curtain. Therefore, the whole bathroom has the potential for getting wet. Once you get used to it, it's easier to make it work.
In the evening I went with Andrew downtown to his English Corner. He does this once a week at a coffee shop, and it is college students and professionals who want to practice their English. A group of about twenty of us gathered in a back room and they had a lot of questions for me. They don't see a whole lot of middle-aged white women! Andrew's personality is really good for this kind of meeting. His friend Jim, a forty-ish age man who edits books (and who providentially was in Beijing last week to help Andrew navigate changing the train tickets when my flight was delayed) offered to drive us home. Andrew has developed a good friendship with this man.