All of last year, Paul, from Prince George, and I, planned to spend January in Mexico.
`03 Nov. 22 Bin (Lin), my ex-wife and I left for China.
The day after we arrived, in Shanghai, Bin's mother died. (She had been failing for a long time)
You can read more about that in my story A DEATH IN CHINA.
JIN MEI, HAMMING IT UP
WE WERE TRYING ON HATS IN A SOUVENIR SHOP
THE HAT BLENDED INTO THE BACKGROUND
SO I CHANGED THE BACKGROUND WITH PHOTO SUITE III
Back in Shanghai, Jin Mei's neighbours and friends are avid dancers.
Jin Mei booked tickets to take me to a disco on Christmas eve.
On the afternoon of Xmas Eve we went to a jewellery store.
ON XMAS EVE THE FAMILY TOOK ME TO A RESTAURANT
FOR A SPECIAL DINNER
BEFORE WE WENT FOR SUPPER, I PROPOSED TO JIN MEI
XMAS EVE AT THE DISCO
JIN MEI SHOWS HER RING TO HER FRIENDS
MEI WEI WINS THE DOOR PRIZE AT THE DISCO
GIVES IT TO JIN MEI
SHORTLY, THEREAFTER, DING LING
JIN MEI'S FRIEND, WON A DOOR PRIZE
Both calendars were given to me as presents. They are lovely prints with metallic highlights and will grace the walls of our house after Jin Mei immigrates to Canada.
On Boxing day I flew back to Vancouver.
Paced the streets, impatiently, during the weekend and Monday morning got my papers from the government to show that I was divorced.
Took them to my lawyer who sent them to Victoria.
Took my passport to the visa office to arrange for another Chinese visa.
Went to Flight center and booked a ticket to Shanghai.
Not wanting to sit and stew in Vancouver, and still wanting to meet Paul, I booked a ticket to Mexico.
PAUL AND HIS WIFE, BRENDA, AT OUR HOTEL
MI CASITA, IN ZIHUATANEJO
VIEW OF PLAYA MADERA FROM OUR BALCONY
Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, my lawyer received my papers back from Victoria, translated them into Chinese, and sent them to the Chinese Embassy.
While in Zihu. we were able to renew acquaintances with some old friends, and to make new ones.
Zihu. is such a friendly town.
HEAVY RAINS THE NIGHT BEFORE MEANT WE HAD TO
DRIVE THROUGH WATER IN SEVERAL PLACES
OUR FRIENDS TOOK US INTO THE BACK COUNTRY TO A SMALL COMMUNITY
LOCAL YOUNGSTERS LED ME UPSTREAM THROUGH THE PARQUE
FRIENDS OF FRIENDS BARBEQUED A LARGE FISH
THAT WE HAD BOUGHT FROM FISHERMEN ON PLAYA
PRINCIPAL IN ZIHUATANEJO, EARLY THAT MORNING
The day before Chinese New Year Eve I flew back to Vancouver, arriving at night.
The Chinese embassy had closed before I got there but before they closed they sent my papers back to my lawyer.
Hoping that the previous statement had occurred I slept in late on Chinese New Year Eve and arrived at my lawyer's office an hour after the courier.
I then hustled over to the visa office and picked up my passport an hour before they closed for Chinese New Year.
Needless to say I had been on pins and needles the entire time I was in Mexico and wasn't really able to relax and enjoy my trip for fear this thing wouldn’t time out.
The next day I flew to China.
The marriage office was closed for the New Year.
Consulting the calendar we discoverer that Sat. Jan. 31 was a lucky day.
The marriage office opened on Friday and they informed us they would be open on Saturday, because they had been closed all week.
Saturday was kind of a Canada day at the wedding office.
The couple before us; the groom, a Chinese gentleman, was from Vancouver.
The couple after us; the bride, a Chinese lady, was from Vancouver.
For our honeymoon we went south of Shanghai to Zhu Jia Jiao (the ancient city) (I wonder how many towns in china are called `the ancient city')
At one time, Zhu Jia Jiao was an important shipping port. Barges filled the many man made canals as they carried wares to, and from, other towns and villages.
Zhu Jia Jiao is in the county of Qing Pu in the province of Shanghai. Only about an hour®s drive south of the city of Shanghai.
From Pu Dong, it cost us Y150 by taxi and our return trip, 70 minutes, by bus, to central Shanghai was Y15.
Near the center of the row of stores is a driveway into the main hotel.
THE SHANGHAI CAIYUAN HOTEL
WHERE WE STAYED IN FOR OUR HONEYMOON
The hotel offers: a full menu restaurant; a bowling alley; meeting rooms; sauna; and chess room.
THE CENTRAL COURTYARD
One can enter the tourist zone through the back door of the hotel.
However there is security to see that you have purchased a pass for the day.
There is a fee, for non-residents, to enter the historic part of the town.
SEVERAL BRIDGES CROSS THE MANY CANALS.
For an additional charge one can enjoy a one hour tour of the canals, by boat.
The streets are lined with vendors and seafood restaurants.
Some scenic spots are included in the gate price but the two temples are not.
TOWN GOD'S TEMPLE
TOURISTS TRY TO TOSS COINS INTO THE TOP OF THE URN
Built in 1341 it is also known as the Empress Temple.
The town is a labyrinth of canals. One needs a map to avoid getting lost.
Maps can be obtained from the desk in the lobby of the hotel.
Photo taken from the room with the bell.
WANG CHANG MEMORIAL HALL
Jin Mei waiting for the people, or horse, to pull the carriage.
They said I was too big to fit through the door.
BEAR, and JIN MEI
KEEPING EACH OTHER WARM.
THE WIND WAS CHILLY, OVER THE WATER
A TOWN OF MANY MAN MADE CANALS
So, now, my ex-wife is my sister-in-law, my ex-sister-in-law is my wife, my ex-step-son is my nephew and my ex-nephew is my step-son. Confusing?, but all in the family.
AND NEXT WINTER I WILL TAKE JIN MEI TO ZIHU
AND WE WILL STAY IN THE BAMBOO CABANA
OVERLOOKING LA BAHIA ZIHUATANEJO
SUN SHOWER SEEN FROM THE CABANA AT MI CASITA
WE DID MAKE TO ZIHU THE NEXT YEAR BUT
UNFORTUNATELY MI CASITA WAS BOOKED UP
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