I’m not really a huge fan of New Years celebrations. And spending our first New Year in Nanjing was no different to my usual enthusiasm! Both Blondie and I worked on New Years Eve until 9pm. He worked in the city, and I worked a stone’s throw from our apartment. We were expecting Airbnb guest’s about 10pm, and walking from work to our apartment, it felt like a regular evening.
Mum and Dad were in Hong Kong on an impromptu trip (read about Part One and Part Two here) to try and sort their visa’s. What a circus! A circus which ended up with Mum coming back to Nanjing without Dad, as he wasn’t allowed back into China and had to fly to New Zealand to get his visa stuff sorted. Not the greatest start to the new year for us.
Two of the chocolate chips in the cookie dough of the brand new year were our first Airbnb guests of 2016. Faye and Ting arrived at about 10pm on New Years Eve, having trained to Nanjing from Shanghai, where Ting lives. We shared our bottle of port with them (Nick brought it back for me from Aussie), they brought us Ferrero Rocher chocolates. We talked about places we’ve been, places we want to go and it was lovely beginning our new year getting to know new friends.
Ting left a day earlier than Faye, so we decided to take Faye to our favourite little Kiwi spot in Nanjing: Motu Burgers. KIWI burgers! Complete with Tiptop icecream, Bundaberg gingerbeer (yes, we know it’s Australian and it still reminds us of home!) and homemade aioli and relish!!! By the end of dinner, Faye was a fan!
It was so much fun seeing Kiwi food through her eyes. Food that to us is so normal was so exotic and exciting to her! I love living in this city where learning new things is always such an interchange with everyone we meet. And we get to experience this even more as Airbnb hosts. Even though we don’t get as many bookings here in Nanjing as we did in Sydney, its still great fun to meet new people, find out their stories and tell them some of ours.
With Dad in New Zealand, we were picking up all his work, at WEB Wanda, at the other WEB centres that Dad does casual hours for and some of the stuff that he does for Mum. Nick met an American guy, Louis, at one of the other centres, who introduced him to a gorgeous little night food market out by where he lives. We had mystery meat mixed with rice, fresh herbs, fried shallots and chill. And went back for more!
It’s funny how you really notice the little things that someone normally does when they go away. Like getting the bread on a regular basis, or making Mum a lemon drink in the mornings. And not so little things like doing the dishes!!! He got back to Nanjing on Sunday and we’re VERY glad to have him home, along with all of the Kiwi goodies he brought with him!
So the first month of the new year is almost over. I have a funny feeling that this year is going to go by even faster than the last one did! We’re already onto our third lot of Airbnb guests for the month, Hannah and Regan from the UK. We’ve been introduced to a new coffee shop (REAL coffee!!! REAL macchiatos!!!), we’ve discovered a new food market for fresh fruit and veges (think I’ll give the ‘butchers’ a miss!) and we’ve had great Airbnb guests so far this year. And Nanjing is getting all decorated and geared up for their New Year celebrations. The weather is cooling down significantly and I am crossing my fingers for snow!!!
What are your plans for 2016, the year of the monkey???