She’s in China – Part 1

June 12, 2012

For years, a running joke in our home has been….. when anyone asks…..

“Where is _______?”

The answer is “China.”

Teddy Bear? China. Dinner? China. Grandma? China. Gym socks? China.

You have no idea how strange it is to have Faith ask me “Where is Sizza?” (That is her name for Andrea) and have me answer “China!” and be telling the truth.

Andrea has been in China for a month now. Yowza.

Here are a few highlights of her adventure so far:

Andrea  vs. China -

I am visiting the Great Wall tomorrow and was possibly overcharged by a sketchy cab driver. More to come…

Today I visited the Ming Tombs (a big pile o’dirt with cool buildings in front of it) and went to the jade emporium (I now know how to spot fake jade). Additional tidbit, the Great Wall is made up of steps across the top, lots and lots of steps. It’s not flat like they make it look like on Mulan and Scooby Doo. ;)

We had Peking roast duck. You take the duck and put this sauce on it with onions and wrap it up in this tortilla looking thing, it was really really good. We also hit up the Silk Market and tested our bargaining skills.

The food today was weird… they brought out like whole fishes and things that look like vomit. The other meats still had bones in them, so needless to say, I didn’t eat too much.

Yesterday we went to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It was really good. Tiananmen Square was really big, and there were soooo many people. I had no idea it would be so busy. THe Forbidden City was pretty cool to see the imperial palace. We also went to the temple of heaven, it was really nice. I’ll just have to send you pictures, they’re hard to explain. The architecture is just really nice and with such attention to detail, it just amazes me that they built those things that long ago.

We took the train for 10 hours. We got to our hotel in Dalian this morning (turns out we are not staying in the dorms, I guess because they don’t have air conditioning) its ummmm an experience. So the room is tiny, the bed is an anorexic twin. There’s no closet space (well a tiny amount). The air conditioning certainly doesn’t work that well. It’s by a busy road. We’re on the 5th floor, with no elevator. And the bathroom, o the bathroom.

There is no wifi, I’m currently using an ethernet cable that is so short I have to sit on the floor, and is broken, so when I want to go to a web page, I physically have to push it in. lol. I’m excited though, we’ll start classes on Monday, so far no one here speaks any english, and the signs don’t have english on them, so we’ll really be practicing. I’ve already found that it’s not quite as difficult as I thought it would be, so we’ll see how classes go though.

Yesterday we toured the city with some Chinese students, it was interesting. My girl was really nice and sent me some CHinese music to listen to, it was awesome

We went to XingHai square, the largest square in China. There is also a beach there, but its like Seattle beaches in that it’s rocks.. but it was still nice. So now I’ve been in the Pacific on the other side of the world. lol. The water was actually really clear and blue, which surprised me, so I guess there isn’t too much pollution here in Dalian, which makes sense due to its location.

Classes have been pretty hard. its 4 straight hours, and only 2 classes each day… yikes. At first it was all gibberish, since the classes are taught solely in Chinese. But as more and more classes have gone by, I’m understanding more and more.. so I think by the end I’ll have it down.. My reading/writing probably won’t improve as much as my listening/speaking.. since that’s mostly what I’m doing right now is listening… I haven’t been doing a whole lot of talking yet… mostly bc I only understand about half of what people say.

I went ziplining across the bay, it was AWESOME! You could see so far and it was a ton of fun, well worth the 80 yuan I paid, which is less than $15. lol. I was pretty nervous… but in China they don’t let you wimp out of stuff lol. Some of the people went bungee jumping before, and some girl was chickening out, and they just pushed her off the platform.. lol.

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