Chapter 295 – Wildlife Safari Zoo
It started snowing in the morning. This is the first snow in Yan Tai County and is much later compared to last year.
Dong Xuebing got out of his bed and looked out of the windows. The weather forecast is getting more and more unreliable. The forecast for today is supposed to be sunny, why is it snowing now? Luckily, the snow is not heavy, and there is only a thin layer of snow covering the ground.
After getting dressed, Dong Xuebing walks out of the bedroom. “Ah, you all are ready?”
“Yes. I was just about to wake you.” Yu Meixia, who was wearing an apron, had prepared breakfast. “Breakfast is ready.”
Yu Qianqian looks at Dong Xuebing in her new clothes. “Big Brother, what do you think of my new clothes? Should I wear it?”
“Haha… why not?” Dong Xuebing laughed. “Qianqian is pretty in anything.”
Yu Qianqian smiled shyly.
After breakfast, Yu Meixia went to change in her room. She changed into a pastel-colored coat, white sweater, long casual pants, and had her hair tied up into a bun. She looks trendy and mature.
Dong Xuebing was stunned when he saw Yu Meixia. This was the first time he saw Yu Meixia in such dressing, but he felt her dressing is quite familiar. He remembered seeing the model on the cover of a women magazine on the coffee table, wearing something similar. He knew Yu Meixia would not have such a dressing sense. She is just copying what model wore.
Dong Xuebing gasped. “You are so pretty.”
Yu Meixia blushed. “No…”
“What do you mean by no? You can ask Qianqian. Qianqian, is your mother pretty today?”
“Yes!” Yu Meixia shouted. “Mum, you are so pretty.”
Yu Meixia’s set of clothes cost over 1,000 RMB. She had bought it after she got her salary from the supermarket. When she bought this set of clothes, she did not think the clothes are pretty. She felt uncomfortable as the coat is tight-fitting, and her heels are making her feet hurts. She had never worn high heels in her life, but she does not want to embarrass Dong Xuebing by dressing like a country bumpkin when she goes out with him.
“Are you cold?” Dong Xuebing looks at Yu Meixia’s legs.
Yu Meixia replied. “It’s not cold. I’m fine.”
“That is because there is heating here, and it might be cold at the zoo later.” How can Yu Meixia not feel cold? Her pants are too thin, and it’s late Autumn now.
“Then… I will put on the down jacket?”
“The jacket will not match your clothes.”
Dong Xuebing thought for a while. “Let’s go. We will go to the mall to buy some clothes for you first.”
Dong Xuebing brought the mother and daughter pair out to his car. After paying the parking fees, Dong Xuebing drove towards the Fen Zhou City area. Fen Zhou City is not far, and they arrived about 30 minutes later. The shopping malls had opened, and Dong Xuebing entered a department store within a mall.
“Xiao Bing, the clothes here are expensive.” Yu Meixia looks at the price tag.
Yu Qianqian was also shocked by the price of the clothes. A dress costs a few thousand RMB, and she doesn’t even touch them.
Dong Xuebing does not care about what they say and walked to the fur coat section. “What color do you like?”
Yu Meixia kept quiet.
“If you are not telling me, I will pick something for you.”
The store assistant walks up to them. “Sir, Mdm, can I help you?”
Dong Xuebing looks around. “That white mink coat. Yes… we want to try that one.”
“Sure.” The store assistant immediately takes the coat out.
Yu Meixia is unwilling to try the coat on. When Dong Xuebing was talking to the store assistant, she peeped at the price tag. She was standing too far away and could not see the numbers, but she is sure it is five figures. That means the coat cost more than 10,000 RMB. It is almost equivalent to 2 to 3 years of her supermarket salaries. But Dong Xuebing gave her a stare, and Yu Meixia tried it on carefully.
Immediately a beautiful woman appeared in front of the mirror.
The store assistant is a bit jealous of the woman in front of her. This woman is not young, but she is very pretty. Even as a girl, she can’t help but keep looking at her.
“Ok! We will get this!” Dong Xuebing announced.
Yu Meixia replied. “Xiao Bing, this coat is too…”
“Just listen to me. This coat suits you, and you look pretty in it.”
Yu Qianqian, who was standing beside her mother, nodded.
After paying for the coat, the three of them left the department store. On the way to the car, Dong Xuebing noticed Yu Qianqian looking at her mother’s coat enviously and also looking at the stores selling clothes nearby. Dong Xuebing quickly brought them to another section of the shopping mall.
“Since we are at the mall, Qianqian should also pick a few clothing.” Dong Xuebing said.
Yu Qianqian quickly shook her hands. “I… I don’t need new clothes.”
Yu Meixia also rejects Dong Xuebing’s offer. “That’s right. She has lots of clothes, and she wears her school uniform most of the time.”
“Just go and pick the clothes you like.” Dong Xuebing patted Qianqian’s head. “Go.”
One hour later.
Dong Xuebing, Yu Meixia, and Yu Qianqian carried a few shopping bags into his Mercedes MPV front passenger seat. They had bought shoes, pants, scarves, and all sorts of women’s clothing. These items are for Qianqian and Yu Meixia, and Dong Xuebing spent almost 100,000 RMB.
Yu Qianqian said excitedly. “Mum, which cap looks better? This or this?”
Yu Meixia ignored Yu Qianqian and said. “Xiao Bing, I’m sorry to make you spend so much money on us.”
“Thank you, Big Brother.” Yu Qianqian said.
“It’s fine as long as you all are happy.” Dong Xuebing laughed. “We are out to enjoy ourselves today, and shopping is part of the fun. Alright, we are moving off.”
Wildlife Safari Zoo.
This zoo is newly opened, and there are not many tourists.
The tickets cost 50 RMB per person, and Dong Xuebing bought three tickets for them.
Yu Qianqian is overjoyed today. She had never been so happy in her life. When she is young, her parents are poor and cannot afford to bring her out. After she attended school at County First Middle School, all of her classmates had been to the zoo and amusement parks, except for her. Some of her wealthier classmates had even been to Beijing and Shanghai for holidays. This is why Yu Qianqian felt she is out of place with them. But now, her Big Brother had brought her to the zoo and also bought many new clothes for her.
Yu Meixia knew what Qianqian is thinking, and she is grateful to Dong Xuebing for doing so much for them.
“Why are you two looking at me like this?” Dong Xuebing looked at them and said. “Let’s go.”
Yu Meixia nodded and followed behind Dong Xuebing while holding on to Yu Qianqian’s hand. Yu Qianqian looked at Dong Xuebing’s back and shouted. “Big Brother.” When Dong Xuebing turns, Yu Qianqian quickly held Dong Xuebing’s hand with her other free hand. She is now holding her mother’s hand with her right hand and Dong Xuebing with her left hand. But Yu Meixia blushed as she noticed the other tourists looking at them as if she and Dong Xuebing are a couple bringing their child out to the zoo.
Most of the animals near the entrance are kept in cages, and visitors can buy food to feed the animals.
“Mum, is that a deer?”
“I think so. There is a sign over there.”
“There are so adorable. Can I take a picture with them? I also want to pet them.”
“Sure.” Dong Xuebing took out his iPhone 4. “I will take a picture for you. Go over and strike a pose.”
“Yay!” Yu Qianqian runs over excitedly.
After taking some pictures for Yu Qianqian, Dong Xuebing bought some fruits for her to feed the deer. Although the deer can eat the food, they brought along, but the staff at the zoo do not allow tourists to feed the animals with the food they brought. This is to ensure the safety of their animals and also to make money for the zoo. Yu Qianqian was excited and nervous when she fed the deer. She also took the opportunity to pet it.
“Sister Yu, let me take a picture for you.” Dong Xuebing raised his phone.
Yu Meixia quickly covers the phone’s camera with her hand. No… I don’t want to take any pictures.”
“Why are you so shy? Hurry up. We are out to have fun, and how can we not take some pictures?” Dong Xuebing said.
Yu Meixia could not reject Dong Xuebing and stand there with an awkward expression. Dong Xuebing asked her to smile, and she showed a forced smile. Yu Qianqian ran over and hugged her mother’s arm in front of the camera. Yu Meixia relaxed slightly when her daughter is beside her, but she is still shy in front of the camera. Click! Dong Xuebing laughed as he looks at Sister Yu’s uncomfortable smile in the picture.
The three of them continued their way to other enclosures.
Yu Qianqian is tired from all the walking, and Dong Xuebing brought them over to a pavilion with stone benches to take a break.
“Oh, we still have not taken any pictures together.” Dong Xuebing said.
Yu Meixia does not like to be photographed. “… how are we going to take pictures together?”
“Wait a minute. I will ask someone to take our picture.” Dong Xuebing got up and stopped a young couple passing by. “Excuse me, can you help us take a picture?”
The young man smiled. “Sure.”
“Thanks a lot.”
“No problem.” The young man took the iPhone 4 from Dong Xuebing.
Dong Xuebing returned to the pavilion and sat beside Yu Qianqian. Yu Meixia, who was sitting on the other side of Yu Qianqian, moved closer. The young man counted. “Three, two, one.” Click! Dong Xuebing walks over and thanks the young couple, before walking back to show Yu Meixia and Yu Qianqian the picture.
Suddenly, someone called out to Dong Xuebing. “Chief Dong, you seem to be in a good mood.”
Dong Xuebing was surprised and looked over. “Oh, Secretary Duan. What a surprise.”
The person who called out to Dong Xuebing is Duan Zhengan, Party Secretary for Yan Tai County’s Commission for Discipline Inspection. A woman in her forties, and a young boy around nine to ten years old, are beside him. The boy is looking at Dong Xuebing curiously, and Duan Zhengan replied politely. “This is my wife, and we are not working today. So, we brought our boy over to look at the animals.”
Dong Xuebing smiled. “Oh… it’s sister-in-law… nice to meet you.”
Cheng Tingting felt uncomfortable to hear Dong Xuebing calling her Sister-in-law. Dong Xuebing should be calling her Aunty based on their age differences. Still, Dong Xuebing’s rank is about the same as Duan Zhengan, and there is nothing wrong with him addressing her as Sister-in-law.
“Nice to meet you too. I had heard many good things about you.” Cheng Tingting returned the greetings.
Dong Xuebing smiled. “Haha… you are flattering me. You must have heard all sorts of bad things about me.”
Cheng Tingting frowned in her heart but did not show any displeasure on her face.
This meeting had become tense after a few exchanges. The reason is simple. Dong Xuebing was brought back to the Commission for Discipline Inspection for investigation a few days ago by Duan Zhengan. Although there is no evidence against Dong Xuebing, his reputation was slightly affected. Dong Xuebing might be smiling and not showing any discontent, but in his heart, he is extremely unhappy. Even though he knows Xiang Daofa is the one who ordered this investigation, he still hates Duan Zhengan, as the latter is “leaning” towards Xiang Daofa’s faction.
At the same time, Duan Zhengan also does not like Dong Xuebing for being outspoken.
Cheng Tingting is on her husband’s side. She knows Dong Xuebing and her husband are not on the same faction, and she also dislikes Dong Xuebing.
Unless both parties have a deep hatred for each other, the leaders will still greet each other politely when they met, even when both parties have grudges against each other. Having grudges and falling out completely is different. Of course, when anyone saw Dong Xuebing and Duan Zhengan chatting and smiling, they will think they are friends. This is the hypocrisy in the government service.
Yu Meixia and Yu Qianqian cannot tell both men dislike each other.
As the men were ‘chatting,’ Duan Zhengan’s son, Liangliang, walks up to Yu Qianqian and look at the snacks she is holding. “What are you eating?”
Yu Qianqian smiled sweetly. “I am eating potato chips.”
Liangliang looked at the packet of chips, greedily. “I also want to eat.”
Yu Qianqian is not willing to share her snacks. Her family was poor, and she seldom gets to eat snacks since the young. Only when she goes out with Dong Xuebing, Dong Xuebing will buy lots of snacks for her. But she becomes softhearted when she sees Liangliang’s pleading eyes. “Here, have a piece.”
“Thank you, big sister!” Liangliang took a piece of potato chips from Yu Qianqian.
But before Liangliang can put the chip into his mouth, Cheng Tingting shouted. “Who allows you to eat that?! Throw it away!”
Liangliang smacked his lips and replied. “Mum, I am only eating one piece.”
“No! Not even half a piece! You are not allowed to eat junk food!” Cheng Tingting walked over and snatched the piece of potato chip from her son and threw it into the bin. Duan Zhengan and Cheng Tingting had got a child late, and they doted him a lot. She does not allow Liangliang to eat the potato chip is because it is processed food, and she is worried Yu Qianqian did not wash her hands.
Yu Qianqian almost cried when she saw Cheng Tingting throwing the potato chip away angrily, and her eyes turned red. She does not understand why this little boy’s mother is behaving this way as it was only a potato chip.
Dong Xuebing was pissed. What is wrong with you? Why are you scaring Qianqian like this?
“Hey, you don’t need to be so harsh.” Dong Xuebing looks at Cheng Tingting.
Cheng Tingting had not done that on purpose and explained. “Liangliang has a weak stomach, and we seldom let him eat snacks.”
After this incident, Dong Xuebing’s impression of Duan Zhengan and Cheng Tingting got worse.
Duan Zhengang always put on a straight face at work and after work. He had noticed Yu Qianqian giving Liangliang the potato chips when he was talking to Dong Xuebing and was not happy about it. He is afraid the little girl’s hand is dirty, but he did not say anything.
Everyone felt uncomfortable and awkward.
Ring, ring, ring… Duan Zhengan’s phone rang, breaking the awkward silence.
Duan Zhengan answered. “Hello? Yes… Ok… what time? Where is he now? Ok…” After speaking on the phone for a while, he frowned. “Ok. I know.” He turns to his wife and son. “I have some work to do now. You two can carry on here.” As the County’s Commission for Discipline Inspection Party Secretary and County’s Party committee member, Duan Zhengan is busier than Dong Xuebing.
Cheng Tingting is used to it, and she replied. “Go ahead. Remember to drive slowly.”
Liangliang does not want his father to leave and refused to let go of his father’s hand.
Dong Xuebing informed them he would be leaving and left with Yu Qianqian and Yu Meixia.
“Qianqian. Just ignore them. These people are rude.” Dong Xuebing said.
Even though they had left the pavilion, Yu Qianqian was still upset over the incident. “Ok.”
Yu Meixia looks at Dong Xuebing. “Is that man, your leader?”
“What leader?! He is the one who ordered the Commission for Discipline Inspection to investigate me and wanted to accuse me of corruption and receiving bribes!” Dong Xuebing replied. “He had tarnished my reputation!”
Translator’s notes: In China, it is common to address friends’ wives as ‘sister-in-law’ even when they are not related.