Posted by: thelocaldialect | September 26, 2009


Next week we’ll celebrate China’s big 60th birthday party, which means a vacation, this time an epic 8 day vacation is just around the corner. This year National Day happens to coincide with Mid Autumn festival, and mooncakes are once again appearing in stores. I’m sure next week we’ll be given mooncakes at work so we haven’t bought any yet, and although I’ve been tempted by the Hagen Daaz ice cream mooncakes, they’re a bit too expensive for our relatively frugal tastes.

National Day is going to be a huge event in Beijing this year, with celebrations to rival the Olympics even. China is pulling no stops, especially with the planned parade to show off China’s military. Last week fighter jets flew over Beijing for the first time ever and my students, especially the boys, could not contain their excitement and rushed over to the windows in the middle of the lesson to get a peek at the action. My husband and I had, at the beginning of the year, naiively assumed that we would be able to go and watch the parade, but it has become increasingly apparent that no parade watching will be happening for us. The whole area around the parade will be closed off to traffic, pedestrian and otherwise. I don’t know who exactly will get invites to view the ceremonies, but it won’t be us. Despite being in Beijing, we’ll be watching it on TV like everyone else!

We are staying in Beijing this holiday though. While 8 days off in a row would otherwise be a perfect time to get out and do some traveling, this time we’re just going to sit tight. Baby #2 is due in late Nov./early Dec. so this will be our last holiday with only one child, but I think Wang Yao and I are both too exhausted to muster up much enthusiasm for a trip, not to mention, we need to watch our finances to prepare for the upcoming, rather expensive birth of Kid Two. October will also mean Kid One’s second birthday! I can’t believe our little guy is already almost two. We don’t have any big birthday plans, since we don’t have family here and Dylan is still pretty oblivious to the whole birthday thing to be honest.

With my son’s birthday also comes the inevitable arrival of cooler weather to Beijing. While October should be a pleasant month, not too hot and not too cool, the deep cold starts to set in quickly, and by the time Kid Two is born in December it should be well freezing, although the coldest months are January and February (last year our only snow happened in February, after Spring Festival. My parents and my little brother will be coming to China sometime around December 15th and I’m caught between hoping that it is unseasonably warm so that we might get out a bit, and sadistically hoping my Southern family gets to experience the delights of a Beijing winter!

On that note, I wish everyone out there in China-land (those who have managed to find a way to read wordpress anyhow) a happy National Day, and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival and many mooncakes to anyone, in China or not, who happens to enjoy those things.


  1. I am sure you will enjoy the 8 days off even if you don`t go anywhere- it sounds like a lovely time to prepare for the arrival of baby 2 and get ready for baby 1`s birthday celebrations!!!

    I am hoping it will start to cool down here in October- I thought it had started but we were back to hot and humid yucky weather yesterday which was a big disappointment. I think Beijing weather is similar to here, no?

    ps: Has the hospital given you any hints yet on baby 2`s gender or are they still very closed lip about it?

    • No gender hints yet, unfortunately. I think this baby is going to end up being a surprise. DH always refers to it as a “little sister” and he has good intuition about these things, so we’ll see. We are thinking of 2 names, nothing nailed down yet though!

  2. WOW! 8 day holiday sounds fantastic!! I think Japan’s longest holidays are 5 or so days.. (besides New Years)

    Gosh before you know it baby #2 will be here!!! Beijing winter doesn’t sound like much fun – do they have central heating in China? I’m guessing no?

    Any plans for D’s brithday? I can’t believe he’s going to be 2?!! I know a lot of people who gave birth Autumn/Winter 2009 and all their kids are full fledged toddlers now. Its crazy!!!!

    Glad to see you blogging!! Any chance we can get a picture of the ice cream moon cakes?! I like the lotus paste mooncakes. We (Taiwanese ex bf) and I used to get them from Boston China town đŸ˜€

    • We do have heating here, but it isn’t like anything I ever saw back home. Basically we have these pipes in all of the rooms and extremely hot water runs through them at all times of the day and the pipes heat up and heat up the room just by being hot. It actually keeps the house really nice and toasty, although it sort of dries out the air a lot (and Beijing is try to begin with).

      If I can score some ice cream mooncakes I’ll definitely post pictures. We have to pick some up tomorrow, as it is mid-autumn festival!

  3. derrr… i meant 2007!!!
    although i know quite a few people in 2009 as well LOL

  4. I can’t believe baby #2 is almost here! And that Dylan (who I have not yet met) is almost 2. I hope you have a wonderful vacation.

    • Thanks Karen! You really do need to meet Dylan (and the new baby!) sometime soon. Any upcoming conferences in Beijing, perhaps? We will probably make a trip back to the States once I get a visa sorted for Wang Yao, I don’t think I could travel with both the kids on my own, the very idea is sort of panic inducing!

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