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Diary, December 1998

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   6   7   8   9  10  11  12
  13  14  15  16  17  18  19
  20  21  22  23  24  25  26
  27  28  29  30  31

Monday, December 7, 1998


In the past days it has been snowing a lot. It's a pity that the snow is also melting away each afternoon.


Post boxes (Cont'd)

The other day, while biking home through the rain, I saw a post man emptying a post box. The use a frame with two bags attached to it, which they hang under the post box. Then the post box is emptied by virtually taking of the front of the post box. The collected mail falls in the appropriate bags.

In a flash, I realized that by switching the labels on the slits, you would not really do a service for the people using the post box. I strongly get the impression that some fool changed the labels on this one post box, which is not such a strange conclusion after all, as this post box is close to a psychiatric hospital.

Thinking about the order of the slits, I also realized that the labels are confusing from a ergonomical viewpoint. They now read (from left-to-right) `Other zip codes' and `Zip codes from 7000 to 9999'. You only know what the other zip codes are, once you have read the second label.

A good time to swap the slits, is on the new years day. Because of our tradition of lighting fireworks, all post boxes are sealed-off to prevent post being burned.

Recognizing movies in a split second

Sometimes it happens that while zapping you recognize a movie in a split of a second, even without having see the movie ever before. This happened to me this evening. I saw a flash of a man with a camera standing by a covered bridge taking a shot from a lady. I immediately knew from which movie this must have been: The Bridges of Madison County. (If you can read Dutch, you can read this review.)

I watched for about 5 minutes, and then realized I had some dish washing duties to perform. Later at the evening, I some the last part of the movie. Especially, the scene with her opening the box that was sent to her after his death, I found touching.

Friday, December 11, 1998

The Bridges of Madison County

When I
read the book in Beijing, the last time we went to China, I had got the impression that the book was based on a real story. Today, I found out it was fictional. There has never been a 'Robert Kincaid' working for National Geographic. I felt betrayed! In this the book is as deceptive as its story. I could have known it.

Saturday, December 12, 1998

Shuan Yang Rou

Li-Xia's favorite dish in Beijing always has been `Shuan Yang Rou', a dish made from very thin sliced sheep meat, which is put in boiling water for a short time. `Yang Rou' means sheep meat. `Shuan' is also used for rinsing clothes. The art of this dish lies in slicing the meat so thin, you only need to boil it a view minutes. Li-Xia cannot slice it as thin as it should be, so we have to do with something that comes close to it.

Li-Xia likes to eat the boiled sheep meat with salt and oyster sauce. I like to eat it with a mixture of light Chinese soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a little sesame oil.


Monday, December 14, 1998

Broeder Bouwman

Yesterday, we heard that
broeder (brother) Bouwman passed away last Friday. His funeral will be coming Thursday. Last month he became 90. I still remember how I visited him in the hospital in September. Till he was accepted in the hospital, he still lived on his own taking care for himself. But after he was accepted in the hospital, his condition became worse quick. When I visited him in the hospital, he already told me that he had only a few months to go. I heard that last Tuesday he still walked, but on Thursday he got a fever, and on Friday he entered coma, and died shortly after. He was the eldest member of our church. I have many good memories of him. I still remember how he recited a poem about us on our wedding day, which he had written for the occasion.

Tuesday, December 29, 1998

7850 gram

This morning we went to the hospital with
Andy, where he was weighted. We were happy to see he weighted 7850 grams. Two weeks ago, on the seventeenth he still weighted 7270 gram. He gained more than a pound in two weeks. We already had noticed that he looked less slim than before. For half a year his weight has been stable now. On June 6, he weighted 7940 grams. It looks like the new tube feeding he is getting, is finally going to work. With his length of 75 cm, he is now just above the 3 percent line. It seems he is no longer suffering from acute malnutrision, according to the feeding requirements for boys.


Thursday, December 31, 1998

Shuan Yang Rou (Cont'd)

This evening, we had dinner with some Chinese friends, and they served us real Shuan Yang Rou. The trick for cutting the meat very thin is simple, but effective: cut it when frosted.

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