Sunday, January 3, 2010

Today in Beijing

It snowed today. And snowed, and snowed, and snowed. The only person in all of Beijing who owns a snow shovel is me, so the streets did not get plowed and the sidewalks were not shovelled, but the kids were able to make a snow fort in the front yard with our fabulous shovel.

We bought the shovel when we lived in Virginia. Before that, we lived in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where it regularly snowed at least a foot a week all winter long. At the time, we bought a locally-made snow shovel, which consisted of a thick piece of wood nailed to a wooden handle, with a small sheet of metal nailed to the end of the shovel side to help it scrape better. This 10 pound shovel was our only defense against the snow, and we had a narrow, curvy, downhill driveway that absolutely had to be shoveled if you wanted to get in or out. So I often used that wooden monstrosity to scoop up great piles of snow and hurl them 8-10 feet in the air, trying to get the snow off the driveway and onto the front lawn above.

I had amazing biceps.

Here, we have a nearly-level driveway and it seldom snows. But no way was I leaving my lightweight aluminum shovel in storage. Besides, I've made friends because of that shovel. When it does snow, I always get visits from ayis and guards hoping to borrow it. It disappears with them for awhile, then reappears at our doorstep for the next needy soul.

So, we have a shovel. What we lack are snow boots. That didn't stop the kids, though. They spent hours out there digging and scooping and throwing. Every, oh, ten minutes or so, they'd dash in, rip off wet clothes, socks, gloves and hats, dump them in a pile, change into dry clothes, and dash back out. Wet laundry piled up everywhere, driving my Type A husband nearly out of his mind.

I didn't leave the house once - I'm not a fan of cold weather, and I believe snow is best admired from the other side of the window, preferably while seated next to a roaring fire. Lucky for me, my husband braved the elements to go out in search of some coffee for me - did I marry well or what? I stayed inside and made whole wheat pita bread for lunch, green monster pasta for dinner (you might know it by its proper name, pesto), and chocolate cookies for dessert. In between times, I mixed up hot cocoa by the gallon.

That's the best kind of snow day, in my opinion: husband takes kids outside while I stay inside and carb-load.

I also spent loads o time on the internet, looking at houses for sale in case we get posted back in the U.S. Pretty depressing. I think I found my dream house, for the low, low price of $849,000. Time to monetize the blog; maybe I can pick up a half a million between now and June?

Sigh. Oh, well. No dream house in this lifetime. But I still have some warm cookies on the kitchen counter. So that's something.

Enjoy the pictures, and stay warm whereever you are.

(No, I didn't take these pictures myself. That would've involved going outside, and if you'd been paying close attention to this story, well, you wouldn't even have to ask that question...)


Stephanie Faris said... [Reply]

Beautiful pics! It's freezing here, but no snow, which sucks! Although when it snows in Nashville, the entire city shuts down because it happens so rarely, the city doesn't have the equipment to clear the roads...and they end up only clearing the Interstates and highways.

Shannon said... [Reply]

Snowy in Frankfurt too, I am inside playing Wii while kids go in and out for snowball fights. I am still in my pj's. I am a south Texas girl. I don't do cold!

A said... [Reply]

I think I have been in your house! Either the Ho's or Reva's old house I think. We lived on the other side of RG - near the playground with the sandbox....

Jill said... [Reply]

Is that your house!!! OMG - gorgeous lady!

I've been looking at houses in the States as well... I bet we could compare - and probably love the same ones!

Erin G said... [Reply]

wow, your house is gorgeous!!!

C said... [Reply]

You did get a lot of snow! Glad you were able to stay in where it's warm :)

Love your house!

Donna said... [Reply]

@A - How in the world do you still recognize the house? They all look the same? Freaky. But yes, apparently the Hos lived in this house before us. I know, because when we moved in, people refered to our house as "the ho house," which was a bit disconcerting until I figured it out.

@ Jill and Erin G - The houses here are pretty, yes. But they aren't particularly well made, so it's falling down around our ears. At the 1-year mark, things started breaking and cracking. Still, it's twice as big as that super-expensive dream house I was checking out in the U.S.

Rachel Cotterill said... [Reply]

Beautiful ... I love snow :) I spent a week in Beijing, interesting place, very loud to my ears. I'd love to hear more about your time in Kazakhstan, that must be a fascinating place to live.

The Blonde Duck said... [Reply]

Popped in from SITS to say hi!

♥ Katinka said... [Reply]

Stopping by from SITS and wishing you a Happy Monday! cute pictures :)

Jessica said... [Reply]

Great snow fall. I'm back in the US and we're getting some up in PA. Nice to feel like winter. And I'm right with you on the dream house thing. We started looking a few months ago and everything I think we could fit in/like is 700,000 plus. Oy. What about this recession I keep hearing about?

Please. Write your own stuff.