Those crazy kids.
So far, the visit has been nice. They gave us a box of Chinese green tea. I gave them a copy of my Ascendancy of Blood chapbook. We chatted and had dinner at the local Roasted Garlic. I also asked them for pronunciation hints and tips on some of the pinyin I used in my middle-grade book. They seemed interested in reading it (since it's set in China, with Chinese mythology in it), so I printed out a copy of it to give them today. Also printed out a copy of "Li T'ien and the Demon Nian" to give them. Interestingly, because of the communist influence in mainland China, cultural mythology/religion isn't that widespread. The basic tenets of the mythology in my book--the Chinese afterlife, the dual souls, etc.--elicited some blank looks, and then some rapid-fire Chinese between them as they tried to identify it.
We're taking them to the Botanical Gardens today. And then they want to eat at a nice Chinese restaurant for dinner. A nice, relaxing Sunday with the folks.
They want us to visit them in Beijing. My step-dad is an awfully good influence on my mother. I'm actually tempted to go. It would be nice to be able to do some story research. There's nothing as good for a muse (my muse, at least) as travel.
Of some distress: our Accord seems to have freaked out. Suddenly, while we were driving to the Roasted Garlic, several of the red indicator lights lit on the dashboard: the "doors are open" light, the "supplemental restraint system" warning light (that goes on when the side airbag sensors are blocked), and the "battery is not charging properly" warning light. WTF? Matthew turned the radio off, and they all went off. WTF? As near was we can figure it, we think the stereo might have short-circuited the dashboard electronics. We wouldn't worry about it, except the car is making a sort of whining, whirring noise now.
We made an appointment to bring it in on Wednesday, and we're swiching primary cars until then. Unfortunately, our other car is a Honda Prelude, one of the sporty coupe models. The backseat is an afterthought, installed purely for insurance purposes so that it's not classified as a two-seater. I don't know how we're going to fit four people in it. And the air conditioner is broken. Ugh.
Timing is not our friend.