Letter 4 (page 4)

Lan’s letter

Hi,

This is Lan (as you can probably tell by the different handwriting).

I think this is time for me to take initiative, I hope (at least we have planned about this) that this letter gets to you (all our friends) before Christmas. It hard to realise that soon 1995 will be over. Peter and I have lived such an eventful year with hope, new challenges as well as a fair share of sickness. I would like to thank especially our friends Cathy B., and Andrew K. for looking after me during my "frozen shoulder" epidemic. Cathy! Your massage lessons have been very much appreciated as Peter now can do professional Masseur job. Unfortunately, my shoulder has not totally "thawed" yet, but Dr. Hughes said that it would take 1 to 2 years, so I should be "patient".

So far we still enjoy our exile life. Denver is a nice place for a start point to go south, west, or north and especially to go skiing, so the invitation is there; we always have room for friends in our place.

I just have experienced my first Halloween (Peter lived in America when he was 6 and 7, so he knew about it), and I think that it was great fun. At work we had a party where people dressed up and I won a prize. It was amazing that most of the men dressed up like a revealing "chick" with a lot of make-up and hairy arms and legs . It was awful but it was great fun to look at them.

It looks like we had a busy eating day for Thanksgiving as my aunt in Fort Collins (about 100km from Denver) made our 1st Thanksgiving a special day for us (brunch), and so did our friend Steve (dinner).

Then we are planning to go to LA for Christmas and do a bit of touristing on the way back either via Utah/Grand Canyon or via SF/Las Vegas depending on the weather. But please don't be jealous of us, besides enjoying ourselves hard, we do work hard too, Peter now does more washing than he used to in Australia, works more hours and has a chauffeur job to drive me to and from work. For me my average week is 50hrs, but if I could work more, my boss will be happier

CHURCH: We attend mass at Christ on the Mountain church. The priest is a lovely old man of mid 70s, he has such an amazing opened mind about different issues, such as women ordination, divorcees, gays and lesbians rights. We pray that God will look after him and that there will be more people like him in the clergy. We also amaze about how rich the churches in America are. The collection of a month here is equal or more than a year of collection money which our old church in Auburn achieved. It often come up to my mind, it does not matter where and when there are still the poor and the rich (I can assure you that a priest in a rich congregation does much better than his counterpart in a poor congregation) but I leave this issue to God.

LIFE AS A SHOPPER IN THE YANKEE LAND: Cost of living here generally cheaper than Australia, I do like their marketing tactic "Buy 1, get 2 free" and coupon booklets . Since Denver is very much a western state, we are able to enjoy nicer steak with a lower price than some other places in America, the side effect of this is that I now have "more to love" (as Peter puts it) i.e. Lan has put on weight-Ed. We do try to get back to our Australian healthy diet, but seafood is not very nice and the variety of vegetables is limited. We do miss a lot of things which we can not find here: muesli breakfast cereals for Peter, nice pasta, and fresh tuna, garfish, fresh green vegetables for both of us.

Oh, while you are in the mangoes season , please eat an extra 1 or 2 boxes for us, and other disappointing news (especially for Richard & Lily, Bruce & Wendy, Russell & Vivienne) is I still haven't come up with a good chocolate cake or profiterols due to the elevation and different type of flour,but I do make good pumpkin bread, zuccini bread.

OUR NEW FRIENDS: As Peter has mentioned, I have made good friends with about a dozen of people at work. They are quite nice, and we do go out together from time to time. We feel a bit less lonely here helped by them, (we had 5 invitations for Thanksgiving - jealous?), but we always are your friends and hope that we can get back together someday here or there ("it is better here" Lan said)

OK! That is about it for now, we do hope you have a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year. And please do keep in touch, a post card from you and Australia would be a nice treat of the day.

Be good and take care

- Lan

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