Last Saturday, Archer, a fine young man from the Chinese group, went with Ron to find a new location for the Chinese family meeting each week.
They located a restaurant near the same subway station where Archer lives. This is probably as central a location as it could be because people are coming from every direction and live far apart. It takes us about 1 hour by subway (we walk 20 minutes to get to the closest station) and we have to change to another line. We meet at 3:00 p.m. every Sunday afternoon.
The meeting room was large enough for 10 people with a round table. The room was too hot, but otherwise very nice. Most everyone was "frozen" from their travel so the heat felt really good the first half of the meeting. The English names of those present were: Archer, Wendy, Mable, Maggie, Sharon, Rilla, Echo, Ron and Pat. All of the group, except Archer, are young, single professional females. We hope Jason will feel well enough to be back with us soon.
After the meeting, Archer and Wendy left and did not stay for dinner. Archer had taken a bad cold and was not feeling well.
The restaurant will not charge us for the room but we are required to order a meal after our meeting. The food was excellent and not expensive. Each of us ordered one dish (a total of seven items). It was more than enough and cost a total of $35.
Those of you in the U.S. reading this may want to know what we ordered. Here is the menu: Fish hot pot with rice noodles (delicious), beef with vegetables (thin pieces of beef tender as could be), thin strips of beef with hot red and green peppers (good but spicy), pumpkin fritters, Chinese pancakes with chives, green vegetable (something like bok choy), and corn (cooked with sweet red peppers).
Most of the group will have to work this coming Sunday. They get holidays for January 1, 2, and 3 but will have to work on Sunday. Some of the girls are going elsewhere for the holidays, but those who stay in Beijing were invited to come to our apartment anytime during the holidays for a meal. I don't cook great Chinese food, but I doubt any of these young girls can cook very well either. We would still have a good time together and get to know them better. I hope some of them will come. Echo, one of the girls will go to visit her family south of Beijing but she told Ron she would like to "get fully wet" on Saturday when she returns to Beijing. We look forward to that joyful time.
I will get a picture of the group at our next meeting and add it to the blog.