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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ni hao.

 I love China.
I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. Ever.
Don't get me wrong, there are those "China days" 
where I would give anything to be back in 
America enjoying fresh air, blue skies, friends & family and in-n-out. 
On the other hand, I have days where I can picture our future here, working here, 
even raising a family here.
Dan & I have made this our home and I'm truly sad to say goodbye.

Since we have been here I have become an expert chef,
an educator, a world-renowned model and an impeccable housewife.
Joking about the model part. Or am I?
Despite the heat, humidity and pollution,
I have learned to love Suzhou.
While there are many who worship money and would do anything to 
scam you, even drag a dead body to your work and demand 
money since you are white and obviously rich,
(but... that's another story)
the majority of people I have come in contact with have been 
some of the happiest people I have ever met. 
It is amazing how people with so little can be significantly happier
than me we I am blessed with so much more.

Being here has really put things into perspective for me.
While I have learned "you can't trust anyone" and "Americans can get away with anything", 
I have also learned....
 a simple smile can change someones LIFE,
saying even a few words in Chinese at the store awards you great respect from employees,
and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the greatest organization in existence. 

zai jian China.




 Korean barbeque


 Sweaty river cruise
 Compare the sizes. The Chinese baby is half his age.



 He loves his soy milk
 Karaoke TV
Red Bull is not carbonated here
Delish!
Shanghai
 Secret passageway to the high quality knock offs



 crazy makeup artist
 Dan's turn for makeup
They cut a hole in their shoes so they would fit me
 Divalicious
 note: Shirtless photographer


 Winnies glasses were too heavy
 Love her!
sexy working man

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Love/Hate China.

Things I will miss-
DAN THE MAN
Asian pears
The people (church members, Dan's coworkers, my students)
Our Tempur-pedic mattress
E-bikes
Exploring
Cheap books
Knock off shopping
My vegetable lady at the fresh market
Not doing my hair or wearing makeup for two months
The Subway
Mangos
Cheap massages
Badminton

***

Things I will not miss-
Stinky tofu
Sweeping/mopping almost daily
Smelly air (I'm talking REALLY smelly)
Oily foods
Spotty wifi
Hearing every bus/car/scooter drive by all through the night and morning
Fireworks at 3am or 6am or any am
Being totally clueless when people try to talk to me
Hot drinking water
Not having an oven
The heattttt
Rice


Thursday, August 1, 2013

One month older and wiser, too.


I've lived & learned a lot in the past month.
Getting married and moving to a foreign country,
all within a month, talk about risky. 

I have learned a lot about the people since I have been here.
I teach in an English school so I am able to associate with students of all ages for a few hours a day. 
Most of them are born and raised in, and around, Suzhou. 
Most of them have also never been outside of China, 
let alone outside their original province. 

Chinese culture is interesting fascinating. 
Here are some things that I have learned. 


Spitting, burping and farting are socially acceptable. And they happen often. 

Cold drinks are bad for you.
If you ask for water at a restaurant they bring you a glass of boiling water so hot you can barely touch the glass.  

Western medicine doesn't work. 
They believe in Chinese medicine- 
ancient practices using herbs,  tai chi, and natural remedies 

There is no such thing as too spicy. 

BYOTP. Bring your own toilet paper. 

Restaurants don't give you free napkins. Or free ketchup. Or free anything. 

Don't stab your food with chopsticks (I struggle with this one)

Pregnant women are treated like royalty- because of one child rule. 
They wear a special apron everyday to protect from lead. 
Also, they lay in bed for about 2 months after labor without showering, 
in order to keep the process more" natural". 

Chinese people think that life in America is like what they see on CSI, 
Leaving them with little desire to visit. 

No traffic rules. Park/drive wherever. 

White meat is gross. 
They cut the fat off of meat to cook and dispose of the rest. 

Many girls don't shave legs or armpits. 

No restaurant customization.
If you want your dressing on the side or no pickles, sucks for you. 

Milk- comes in a box and is kept in the pantry.

Cake- spongey, flavorless sugar.

Dessert- red beans. I'll pass. 

Cereal- practically $50.

Friday, July 26, 2013

My husband is a Chinese model.


"Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?"

Hi, my name is Dan and i'm the face of Volkswagen Shanghai

video




This was one of our most hilarious experiences to date.
After a brief presentation, 
China introduced the VW brand to their country.
Followed by a provocative dancing group, fireworks, and 
lots of ching chang chonging (chinese), 
Dan stepped out of the car and all the women were loving him.
Dan was milking this to the max and
winking at the women who were swooning over his smile.
(Excuse his outfit: VW gets what VW wants)
The Chinese girl's dream is to marry an American man 
so Dan is more than ideal.
He claims it was for the money but anyone who knows Dan knows 
he will never let me forget that he was a model.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Suzhou, China.

They call it the "Venice of China"
because of the many river channels running throughout the city.
Suzhou is in the East of China near Shanghai.
My husband was offered an internship here for the summer,
so a little over a week after our wedding
we set out on this amazing adventure.
 Pollution problems aside, we do have pretty days.
But my hair and skin is dying for moisture!
My favorite lunch.
Pick raw ingredients and they make it into soup.
SPICY soup.
Acupressure foot massages
 Bullet train to Shanghai (20 min ride)
Early morning ride
 Wildlife Preserve



 Baird's love tigers
Many men here let their left thumb and/or pinky nail
grow out, so people know they don't have low class jobs.
like farming
 Your typical Chinese gym rat.
In skirts, dresses, whatever.
Our bathroom came with a backlight..?
 Breakfast for one.
 Gym water fountain. 
Choices: boiling water or warm water
 Overpopulation.
 Not like our American farmers markets.
Food on the floor.
Rank smell.
Badminton
 Church is only 2 hours long during the summer.
It'll be hard to break that habit!
 This is called the pants building.
It's our direction landmark in Suzhou.
 Across the lake.
Typical with english shirts.
The bottom says
(The address only to be written on this side)
printing mistake
 Swass from a Sunday scooter ride.