Seeing Doris’ Old Neighborhood and Meeting Her Father for the First Time!
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^ Fig. 1. W12-0900.
Breakfast with Xiaǒsǎo at our hotel, the Zhūjiāng Hotel.
- Xiaǒsǎo (“syao sao”), our “Little Older Sister-in-law”, that is, the wife of Doris’ second older brother. Family members frequently call each other by titles rather than their given names. Doris calls this sister-in-law Xiaǒsǎo, so I, Doris’ husband, also call her by the same name.
- Zhūjiāng (“joo jyahng”). Although this hotel faces the Xiǔshuǐ (“syoh shwey”) River, Zhūjiāng literally means “Pearl River”.
^ Fig. 2. W12-6168.
Xiǎogē’s fishing-tackle shop. Xiǎogē is on the left behind the counter. His wife, Xiaǒsǎo, is to the right of his customers. I regret that this is my only photo of Xiǎogē’s business.
- Xiǎogē (“syao guh”), my wife’s “Little Older Brother”, that is, her second older brother.
^ Fig. 3. W12-6172.
My wife Doris attended grade school in this very classroom many — I mean, a few! — years ago.
^ Fig. 4. W12-6187.
Xiaǒsǎo and Xiángmǔ (my wife Doris) visiting Doris’ old neighborhood that she grew up in.
^ Fig. 5. W12-6209.
Doris in her old neighborhood. The fencing is to prevent people from walking into traffic. In China, the car is king — and I suppose the motorcycle is queen — and have priority over pedestrian traffic. There are traffic lights for pedestrian crossing at the major street intersections. However, when the light turns green, pedestrians still have to watch out for approaching vehicles, especially motorcycles!
^ Fig. 6. W12-6218.
Doris went to high school at this location. The old school was replaced by the building you see here.
^ Fig. 7. W12-6226.
Chinese chess, xiàng qí (“syahng chee”), is very popular among the middle-aged and older men. There are a lot of similarities between Chinese chess and Western chess, but a lot of differences, too. The rook is the most powerful piece in Chinese chess, and moves exactly like the rook in Western. There is no queen, but there are guards and ministers instead. They have limited movement.
^ Fig. 8. W12-6230.
Doris grew up in a small, single-story house — can you believe that in China? — many years ago on this very spot in Xiǔshuǐ City, Jiāngxī Province. Now this multi-story, multi-family housing complex stands here.
^ Fig. 9. W12-6234.
L-R: Xiǎosǎo, Doris, and a friend that Doris grew up with many years ago in this same neighborhood. We are here in the friend’s hair salon and barbershop. The friend’s home is in back of the shop, and the entire space is not airconditioned.
^ Fig. 10. W12-6239.
Doris and I in her friend’s un-airconditioned hair salon. The temperature was probably in the 90s F (around 32 C) at that time. It was hot!
^ Fig. 11. W12-1200.
Lunch with Xiǎosǎo in a newer part of town.
^ Fig. 12. W12-6304.
My first meeting with Bàba (“bah bah”, Father), my father-in-law. In July, Doris and I had been married for about 9 1/2 years. This was the first time that I met her father. Bàba’s first language is Jiāngxī Huà. Also called Gàn, it’s a Chinese language predominant in the Jiāngxī Province area. He also speaks Mandarin Chinese and I speak a little Mandarin. So, he and I were able to conduct simple conversations with each other. My time with my father-in-law was really special to me. I tried to spend as much time with him as I could.
^ Fig. 13. W12-6305.
My wife Doris with her father.
^ Fig. 14. W12-6313.
Bàba, in July about 89 years old.
^ Fig. 15. W12-6321.
Dinner with Bàba et al (Bàba’s nurse and her grandson, Xiǎogē and Xiǎosǎo, and Doris and me).
^ Fig. 16. W12-1830.
Dinner with Bàba et al.
^ Fig. 17. W12-6347.
In the cooler, but still warm late evenings, many people love to “qù sàn bù” (“chyew sahn boo”), go for a walk. Here, these people are strolling along the Xiǔshuǐ River.
^ Fig. 18. W12-6358.
As Xiaǒsǎo and Doris and I were walking along the river, we happened to run into one of Doris’ old-time friends. I didn’t understand a word they were saying — they were speaking Jiāngxī Huà — but I’m sure they were reminiscing about “the good ol’ days”.
^ Fig. 19. W12-6374.
So much for limiting my album to 15 photographic items per day!
During the cooler, but still warm evenings — remember this was southern China in July — many restaurants extend their eating and drinking areas out to the sidewalk patios. Here, Xiaǒsǎo and Doris and I stopped for a refreshing evening snack (around 9 p.m.).
End of Day 3 (July 12, 2017).