We are in Chang Chun now. Fabien is working in the depot every day, and I have the 2 girls all to myself. We are waiting for our visas to be processed and will leave by Friday. Lucky we have ayi with us. She was thrilled to be on an airplane for the first time, and since we are all staying in a serviced appartment she doesn't have to wash or clean, so she just helps me look after Alex when I go swimming with Sophie.
Alex is every bit as good a traveller as Sophie was at that age. She sleeps through most of the flight in the baby carrier, and then when she is awake she chills out and looks around and smiles at everyone. I am thankful because navigating the visa process through Chinese officialdom is stressful enough, so I don't need cranky kids to make it worse.
Sophie managed to swim a little by herself today (with a float) - the look of wonder on her face today was priceless. I managed to enjoy about 20 seconds of "wow Mummy look at me! look at me! All by myself!", before she got water in her nose and was not happy at all. However she was soon back to jumping into the water, and I had to promise her we were going to come back tommorrow in order to get her out of the pool.
Chang Chun is slightly warmer than Beijing now, but it is currently so polluted that we don't go out - luckily there is a shopping center attached to the hotel. Chang Chun was the seat of the puppet government during the Japanese occupation. This interesting historical fact explains the great Japanese restaurants here. Fabien and I actually had some excellent sashimi which makes up for the temporal displacement.