The visitors - Leone and Leo, had long since departed. Yet fond memories of them remained. They had been the talk of the neighbourhood and welcomed where ever they visited. From the first moment they settled in with Granma T and the children, a jolly time was had by all.
How they had all laughed as Leone and Leo had worked hard at using chopsticks but they had tried all of the food that was new to them - finding that they did in fact like most of it. They had enjoyed their trip to the old city and were amazed at all the people who lived in the houseboats down by the river, while it was the hustle and bustle of all the people going backwards and forward to work that had never failed to amaze them. Where had they all come from? Where did they all go? What did they all do?
To be fair there had been so many different sights, sounds and smells to take in in the very short time time that they were here. Yet one incident had caused much interest. It was this that the workmen were discussing as they busily repackaged some handbills for the printers down the way.
Chi Wing (foreman): I could NOT persuade Leo and Leone that their millennium starts today.
Wah Ming: No, neither could I. Why ever do they believe that their second millennium started back with the year 2000?
Wai Ping: Did you notice how they said the date? Two thousand and one!
Wah Ming: I thought that was clever of you to spot their habit of speaking the date. Eighteen-oh-one, nineteen-oh-one, but two thousand and one.
Wai Ping: Not twenty-oh-one. What is the betting they would say twenty-one-oh-one for 2101, though?
Chi Wing: Yeh, but we do use the idea of 'ling' remember. It does save us a lot of bother.
Wai Ping: I still remember their faces when Granma T tried to explain that we had already had four millennia of civilisation...uh, uh.
Chi Wing: Yea, all those different dynasties. Which of you pair can remember them all and in the correct order?
Wai Ping: I know I can't, but I do remember from MY school days that the Qin comes before Han
Chi Wing: It must be the only thing you have remembered...
Wai Ping: We really ought to find out which was when andhow long each lasted.
Chi Wing: I can't be certain but I think there have been fourteen dynasties or was it fifteen?
Wah Ming: We can soon find that out, Mai Ling will know where to look for that information. We certainly confused the visitors when we said that we celebrated our New Year sometime in January or February - depending on the moon.
Wai Ping: Yep, and next year we shall celebrate the year of the snake and none of us are getting any younger.
Chi Wing: True... so in the meantime, while we get on with the task in hand, complete the silhouettes of the workmen.