As my Skype Chinese teacher pointed out to me last night, we fly out to Taiwan in five days' time. Writing that strikes fear into my heart. I know I'm supposed to be getting excited but currently there don't seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.
The shipment went on Monday. My son's piano disappeared into the lorry along with several boxes of books, towels, books, winter clothes, books, kitchen equipment, books, and some more books. Books in English are expensive in Taiwan and as Conrad will be attending a local school we want to make sure he has plenty of reading material to continue improving his literacy in English. I confess I did sneak in a few books of my own.
Yesterday I took a car load of rubbish to the tip. They were delighted to take our old Christmas tree because the lights still worked. That was a bit sad, but it was falling apart and due to be replaced anyway. I shipped Christmas cards and crackers I had bought in the sales. Luckily, Christmas is on a weekend this year so we'll be able to celebrate it well. The big Chinese festival is Chinese New Year, in early February.
August is Ghost Month, and the Chinese pay homage to their ancestors by burning ghost money and anything else they feel would be a nice present - a paper Mercedes for instance. I read recently that they also put on performances of Chinese opera and puppet shows for the ghosts to enjoy. That's what I call really thoughtful.