The day 17 Chinese came to tea

Our Chinese ‘son’ Zhihao makes his living by accompanying various Chinese delegations on their tours of the UK and his current delegation had a different request from others: they wanted to visit a typical British home. This is how 17 Chinese turned up at our semi-detached house today – a bit of a crush but a lot of fun.

They insisted on taking off their shoes which is the Chinese tradition, so our hall had 17 pairs of shoes lined up, making it look a bit like a shoe shop.

They went from room to room seeing how we live. In the dining room, they gathered round the table for lots of photographs. This room is also my library with one entire wall filled with books and they were understandably interested in my Chinese section. This includes my copy from the 1970s of the “Quotations From Chairman Mao” (otherwise known as “The Little Red Book”) and the controversial biography of Mao by Jung Chang & Jon Halliday [my review here].

I have been to China three times – twice with Vee and once with Zhihao and his wife and son – and they were interested to view the photograph albums of these trips. Although we have visited 15 cities all around China, we have never been to the province from which this delegation hailed: Jiang Xi which has Nan Chang as the capital.

In order to provide the delegation with cups of tea, we had to borrow extra cups. Then there was strawberry cake, walnut cake, strawberries and blueberries, so they left refreshed as well as happy. It was good to have done our bit for Anglo-Chinese relations.



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