All My Friends

And if it's crowded, all the better,
because we know we're gonna be up late.
But if you're worried about the weather
then you picked the wrong place to stay.
That's how it starts.
-LCD Soundsystem

After months of planning, obtaining a visa, packing for frigid weather, accumulating my list of wants, and a 12-hour plane ride, my sister and her husband finally made it to Beijing. We were so happy to see each other that we barely noticed the metallic taste and smoky smell of Beijing smoggy air. I chattered their ears off as they struggled to stay awake during the 45-minute taxi ride to our apartment.

G and J are pretty good sports. We have a one bedroom apartment; so for three weeks we will be constant companions. The lock on the bathroom door is broken; so we will have to be careful not to encroach on private time. We don't have a dryer; so their clothes will be as stiff as boards after air-drying. They do not speak Chinese; so they will be at our mercy for translation (accuracy will be an issue). They will carry toilet paper at all times and use squat toilets. They will get squashed on a overcrowded subway ride. They will be confused. They will be overwhelmed. They will poorly pronounce "谢谢" (thank you). They will be relieved to hear someone speak English to them. Yes, they will live like us for at least three weeks. It will be such fun!

Chinese Word of the Blog: 拜访 bài fǎng   
English Translation: to pay a visit

We took them to American restaurant for burgers and nachos. We are terrible Chinese hosts.
Lots of presents from family at home! Can you believe it? We even got avocados!