Welcome back! Man, it’s definitely been awhile since I’ve updated the blog hasn’t it? Sorry for that, life just keeps us hopping here! I’m slowly starting to learn some of the language here and can now get around pretty well in a taxi, as well as telling onlookers DON’T WANT YOU TO TOUCH or how old Aiden is. Feeling pretty proud of myself, though I have a LONG way to go!
Are you ready to laugh and enjoy some of our crazy stories and frustrations…get ready! Life here is always interesting if nothing else.
So…I was at the grocery store the other day with Julie and we stopped into a clothing store there. As I picked up a shirt that looked nice, the lady working at the store came over, took the shirt out of my hand and put it back on the rack. Confused, I went to pick up another one and she waved me off again, actually she blocked off the whole rack from me. Then she proceeds to show me through “sign language” that she thought I was “too big” to shop at that store and didn’t want me to even look!!! Talk about making you feel fat and unwelcome! O goodness…I just had to walk away...and thus life in China goes! Say anything to anyone! Needless to say…I didn’t buy any “snacks” at the store that day…
Jeffrey had to go on an overnight business trip last week and Aiden and I went with him. Traveling with a 9 month old in interesting enough, but when you add in a whole culture not used to seeing “white” people, things get even crazier! We had to go to an opening ceremony and expo for the Agricultural Department here in China on Friday morning. The ceremony was outside and it was a beautiful day, but since it was nap time Aiden was starting to get a little fussy. He and I went for a walk to the back of the crowd to find a good place to stroll around and lull him to sleep…that didn’t happen. We weren’t there for more than 5 minutes when (no exaggeration) at least 60 people swarmed up trying to take our picture. I felt like a character at Disney World that EVERYONE wants to see and take a picture with or else the trip wouldn’t be near as good. Whew…it was overwhelming but funny at the same time. There was one guy who wanted to practice his English and started to apologize that they just haven’t seen a white baby before. I tried to joke with him saying that I was going to start charging for pictures, but he really didn’t get it…he just looked at me like I was just crazy for even thinking about it…well maybe I am a little crazy. Once the ceremony ended, we were able to find Jeffrey, along with Jane, our “translator” for the day. Poor Jane, who is Chinese, had no idea what she was getting ready to be in for. We stepped inside the exhibit hall and the flashes started! We couldn’t even go 10 feet without someone stopping us to take pictures. At one point, this particular guy who had been following us around most of the day, handed us a basket of pears and asked us to pose with it. HA! Apparently we were going to make the newspaper with that. Ha!!! We were cracking up at all the craziness…hoping we can get a copy of that paper but you just never know. Just put us in the zoo…I think its where we belong!
|Daddy and Aiden at the AgriExpo|
I think that I just need a good cover story. One of the products they have here is Whitening Cream. Yes, I know…to us Americans that is an extremely strange concept…we all want to be more tan and here they want pale white skin. My plan is to get in touch with Pond’s and try to become their spokes woman…so every time someone wants to take our picture or asks where I’m from, I’ll just say, “I’m Chinese…If you use Pond’s Whitening Cream, you too can have white skin like me!” Think it will work? I’m sure that Pond’s sales would go through the roof! But then I guess you would have to add hair dye and colored contacts to that list. O well…it was worth a shot.
As we were walking to the mall the other day, we saw such a funny sight! A rooster was tied to a moped! Can you imagine how they move together? Would the rooster sit on the seat with the driver? Or would he be running along beside the moped? Who knows, but it was sure a funny site to see. There are so many mopeds around here. It’s the main form of family transportation. We’ve seen upwards of 4 people together on one. Family night out on the moped!
|Rooster and the Moped!!!! Cock-a-doodle-do!|
|Family Outing on the Moped!|
I so wish each of you could come to visit…its so hard to really describe what life is really like here until you come and experience it for yourself! One thing that will be hard for you back home to really grasp (unless you have been out of the country) are the wet markets. The meat section is huge, but its all open air. Cut meat is out in the open for anyone and everyone to touch. Kinda gross if you ask me. That is one area that I probably won’t ever be able to get used to. I have to buy my meat pre-packaged…or right out of the butcher’s coolers at Far East.
Aiden is definitely a growing boy! He is 9.5 months old now and changing every day. He can walk if he is holding one of your hands and loves to walk everywhere. We are working on moving him fully to real food, but that is being a tough transition. He loves fruit and will eat an entire (yes entire) banana at one sitting, but getting him to eat veggies (yes, he takes after his mother) or meat (who is this kid???) is another story. But he is a lively kid who makes us laugh daily! He has started saying “Uh Oh” and waves and everyone he meets. He still loves his books and climbing the stairs. He is totally a Daddy’s boy! I can barely get a hug in when daddy is around! I love it though and am so glad that he is a fan of his Dad!
|Daddy and Aiden at Dairy Queen|
|Aiden eating bananas!|
This week has been a holiday week here in China celebrating their national day, 62 years of Communism. They must love this week since the fireworks have gone off in our complex at least 10 times a day. Whew…its crazy loud! But the nice part is, Jeffrey has been home all week! WHOO HOO!!!! We went yesterday to Suzhou with our good friends, the Sager’s. We tried out the Lion’s Grove Garden. Holy Cow was it ever packed! We quickly learned that traveling during the holidays here is not a good idea. One thing China is not is stroller friendly. Julie and I had a time maneuvering the boys around the crowds and all the steps. Then add in all the people taking pictures of all of us. We have a running joke of who is going to see whose kids on a billboard first. The garden itself was really neat and will be a good one to go back and see when there are NOT so many people around. Or…go back when you pack a lunch and can spend a lot of time in that area. Taxis were so hard to come by. It took us over an hour and a half to get a taxi to go get lunch. But get one we finally did and headed to…wait for it…a MEXICAN restaurant!!! O my mouth was watering at the thought! But low and behold…once we got there they were closed for a wedding being held there and we wouldn’t be able to get in until 3. So we went and grabbed a small appetizer and waited until 3. Boy was it worth it…that was some fabulous food and we had enough to bring home and have lunch today! Then we went to the next greatest thing I have found from America in China…COLD STONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a piece of heaven that cheesecake ice cream was. Cold Stone is my favorite ice cream ever! I’m a happy girl having gotten all that goodness in.
|The crowd at the Lion's Gate Garden. |
We did have another adventure a few weeks ago. Our driver, Chen, wanted to take us on a trip to see the Big Buddha. Crazy interesting experience. Remember me saying that China is not stroller friendly? Chen told us not to bring the stroller and we were glad once we got there. There were steps galore. So, Aiden was happily content in his carrier and Mama got a good work out in. Over 500 steps total carrying an extra 20lbs...thats a good work out. Looking at the site from a cultural aspect was really interesting, though nothing was in English, so we really have no idea what all we were seeing but it was cool. We went to see a show in the most incredible theater we have ever been in. It was a round room whose floor was a moving platform. Such a neat idea for a theater.
Well folks, that’s all my crazy stories for now. There will be more…that is for sure. Stay tuned!