So I managed to make some progress in catching up on that long-overdue paperwork today, thanks to the power being back on in the computer building (there's not much sadder than a Computer Science department with no electricity) and a well-structured Thursday timetable (having a class at 8 than another at 1:30 with nothing scheduled but lunch in between is a pretty good incentive to reconnect the nose with the grindstone) which is good. I owe it to the students, first of all, and the boss, secondly, but more importantly, my parents arrive in Beijing on Monday evening.
lzh will spend the weekend in the village making last minute arrangements for the wedding, then come back to Beijing on Monday morning. Then on Monday evening we pick up my parents from the airport and start them off on their first ever trip to China.... a trip that starts with them settling in to their room and going to sleep, most likely. I doubt they'll even fully realise they're in the People's Republic until the next morning, which is entirely appropriate because that's how my China experience started.
Dad's in Japan right now, beating drums for a Salvation Army band. Mum leaves for Tokyo, where she'll meet Dad, bright and early tomorrow morning NZ time (the ridiculously wee small hours of the morning Beijing time). Monday they fly over here.
It's all a bit daunting in some ways. This is the furthest they've ever travelled from home, for starters, and it will be their only experience of a developing country, and we'll be taking them up to Yanqing- and not just the county town, which is actually quite nice, but right out to the village.
Still, I strongly suspect, given the stories my parents told me when I was a kid (Shushu, if you're not still stuck in Holland, chime in with the stories Dad never told me), that reasonable comparisons can be drawn between 1950s New Zealand and modern rural Beijing. Except, of course, that modern rural Beijing has cellphone and internet service.
Anyway, so I'm looking forward to seeing my parents in major culture shock.... Well, no, lzh and I will take good care of them, I assure you all.