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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
 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
 note: Shirtless photographer

 Winnies glasses were too heavy
 Love her!
sexy working man

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Love/Hate China.

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


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

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.