Sorry for the absence of posts lately! There's not been that much worth reporting about here, so I have been a bit remiss. Apologies! I will just write now to say that things are all well with us, though we are suffering through a lengthy cold snap here in Beijing that shows no signs of abating. Also, I had my first encounter with a "counterfeit cab" the other night. After waiting for a really long time for a cab after the gym, when one finally came I jumped right in, since I was just so cold. I told him where to go, and asked him (as always) to close his window, which was wide open. But when he did so, he first reached up to the roof and pulled in his taxi sign from the roof, which it seems was only stuck on by a magnet and wired to his dashboard somehow. That seemed odd, so I asked him if he was really a cab, which he answered in the affirmative. But all during the trip he kept peering at me in his rearview mirror, and when we got to my usual place to have cabs drop me off the fare was RMB 3 more than usual. Also, he did not take the extra RMB 1 that the city has imposed since late last year to compensate drivers for the high price of fuel. Lastly, when I got out and he drove off, I noticed that his license plate did not have the "B" that all other cabs have, instead it had a "P" like a regular car. So clearly he was a fake cab, though he had the meter, the sign and the other trappings of a cab, other than the inspection card inside, which was missing. I'm glad he did not try to kill me or anything (though maybe he was sizing me up while looking in the rearview mirror!).
We're off to a Chaine dinner tonight at Blu Lobster, at the Shangri-La Hotel way out in the western side of town, so I'll probably report about that tomorrow or soon thereafter. Till then!