Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Lin, Wen and Lin Jing

In many ways the highlight of our time in Beijing was a dinner date with an old colleague and friend of Kathy's mum called Wen. She is a remarkable old lady. As an academic she specialised in English and Scottish literature, and translated workd by D.H. Lawrence and Kipling that are still published in China. Her favourite Scottish author is Sir Walter Scott. Wen's husband Lin was also an academic and an expert translater in Polish. Their daughter, Lin Jing, is an extremely bubbly and energetic person who has visited 22 foreign countries. This is very unusual for the average person in China. Her target is to visit 50 countries.

These occasions always start with the exchange of lots of gifts. Kathy got a lovely wee purse and lipstick holder and we also got a massive bag of fruit. In return we gave a miniature Edradour whisky bottle, a Scottish tea towel bearing a Walter Scott quotation and a framed photograph of Kathy and her mum.

They treated us to the most amazing meal in their favourite local restaurant. To be honest, it was more of a banquet. Spicy tree fungus, omelette and prawns, squid, tofu, Peking roast duck and a pork leg dish in a spicy sauce. This last one is Lin's favourite and he says the restaurant does the best version in Beijing. We got them to write down the Chinese characters for the dish. Maybe Asia Style can recreate it for us when we return home. :-)

Sadly, the whole evening passed too quickly. Wen has the greatest respect and admiration for the work that Gil does in China to help women. It really was a privilege to meet her and her family.

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