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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Experiencing The Real China!

This is right outside the snow resort, China is not a clean place.
    The past few days have been an adventure and a lot fun.  On Tuesday I went up to our little snowboarding bunny hill with Chris and other friends that live in Xi'an and one guy who is considering joining our family here.  His name is Toby, he is from Switzerland, he is a super solid guy. I would be so thrilled if he decided to join us.

   The day at the hill was a very exciting time.  The conditions weren't super good so and others tubed most of the day.  I tried to teach a friend how to snowboard. But when it is super icy and you have human missiles flying at you at break neck speeds it is not a prime day to teach a beginner, haha. So when that failed I defaulted to tubing.  The tubing is a rush.  We would connect like fifteen tubes, with ourselves and other Chinese people. Then we would cross our fingers hoping no one would die. In the end no one got hurt, thats always a positive.

   The next day i took a bus with Toby and Jenna down town.  I had to meet with a guy about a tutoring opportunity.  So I talked with him for awhile at Duncan Donuts, go figure.  Then we went and jumped on a bus that we didn't know where it went. Explored a little bit. Then went to McDonalds for luch.  We stopped by a really famous tourist attraction and showed Toby around.  Then we walked to the bus stop we needed and hopped on the the 44 and headed home.  It was a fun day. If you can get out it is usually always a good day.

   The next day we got an offer to go to the Xi'an Museum of History.  When you get an offer like that you don't pass it up.  Winnie, our tour guide and friend, showed us around the museum sharing all the unique information she knew about China and Xi'an.  It took probably two hours to get through the museum.  After that she insisted that we eat a famous style of local food. It's called Hot Pot, and i beat Matt, who has been here for two plus years, to it. I was open to try it, but i wasn't expecting to much, as far as taste goes.  I walked into the restaurant and there was a bunch of square tables with a square pot in the middle of the tables that was being heated by a gas stove below it.  They sit you down and give you, well the Chinese speaking people of the group, the menu.  Then you choose a variation of greens and meet and vegetables that you want.  They bring them out to you uncooked and you throw them into the boiling chicken broth, either the spicy side or the not spicy side, when you want.  They got all kinds of stuff. Most of which i was not inclined to try.  I did enjoy the lamb, but other than that it was a stretching time for food. For me at least.  I did try Tofu, so everyone should be proud. And i might of had dog, not for sure. But good possibility.

    When i got home i was still pretty hungry, so i ate something else that would fill me up.  Later that night we headed over to the Dienta, famous tourist attraction.  We were going expecting to see hundreds of lanterns let off into the sky.  We soon learned that it wasn't going to happen, the Chinese stopped this who knows how long ago because of fires.  So instead we watched the biggest water show in Asia.  Pretty amazing.  We were with some friends, so we decided to play Ninja.  If you don't know what this is i am sorry. It's a really simple game that requires quickness, crazy anticipation, and a unconscious self awareness.  So we played this game in the middle of about 5o thousand Chinese. We didn't get as big of crowd as i had hoped, but it was a lot of fun. You would have had to been there.  We also played a game where you walk at a couple and try to get them to let go of each others hands.  Heather thought she would show us how it was done.  So she basically would lower her shoulder and run through people. The other three of us would start laughing histarically, and all of us would look like fools. Heather never really mastered the art of it, haha.

This is also very close the the ski place. 

This was at Hot Pot, this guy would stretch this noodle out by swinging it around  with great skill and precision. So sweet.
    Then we soon realized that there was no way that we would catch a bus with 500 Chinese waiting at every stop within a mile. A taxi was also out of the question, there was just to many people there.  So we started walking all 10 of us, including Rick and Sheryl's foster baby Mathew.   We would run into people setting off  fireworks on street corners, and they were so loud. You would have the random dud that might take your head off, gota watch those ones.  Heather finally stole a cab from two other Chinese men, she pulled the hungry, cold, tired baby card.  Props to Heather, she saved Mathew.  So the rest of us kept walking another half mile, till we decided to jump into a bump bump cart.  Imagine the sketchiest little three wheeler. Then put a large box on the back of it. Throw in some loose screws and bolts and a crazy driver. And you got a bump bump cart.  But we made it home safely, close call.  That concludes about everything i have done in the last week. Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Food and Life

    So today i went all out by eating authentic food two of the three meals.  I know it doesn't sound to exciting, and your right it wasn't.  But for me that is really living life on the edge.  For lunch i walked with Matt and Aubrey to a little Chinese restaurant and picked up some food. I was doubting Matt when he said I would love all the food he had decisively picked out from the menu.  On arriving home and digging in to the Chinese feast i found that i quite enjoyed the food he had picked out.  There was some fried green spicy beans, potato strings, egg roll thingys, and some fried rice.  I enjoyed all of it.  Maybe my tastes buds have compromised from delicious american cheeseburgers to average Chinese street food, who knows.
   For super we all lived on the edge by taking all four kids out to get Indian food.  Plus Sarah Failla and one of her boys, who is almost 2.  Jeremy and his wife Jenny and there two little boys, and Andrea. So there was seven adults and seven little children.  That might not sound like a feat. Maybe if you were doing it in the states when we all would have our personal vehicles.  In China you use the public transportation system. And adventurous as we are, we chose to take the bus instead of taxi.

     So imagine getting four strollers, seven kids, and seven stumbling adults onto a bus, in a very short amount of time. It takes courage.  We made it on the bus without any casualties.  On top of all this you constantly have Chinese people staring at you and saying random stuff that i don't understand.  In the beginning you don't mind it, but after awhile you start to get very agitated by it. At least I do.  So we got off the bus and made our way to the Indian restaurant.  We took the scenic detour so that i could see all the interesting things in that area.  There was some interesting stuff, and i did enjoy the walk.  While i was walking with all the other "foreigners" in my group i think we made a lot of Chinese' days brighter.  When you stop for even one second, you get surrounded very quickly.  A lot of pictures get taken and a lot of ahhhhs. I tell them that it will cost them 4 RMB, which is the money here.  They never pay.

    We eventually made it to the Indian place.  I wasn't sure if i would fork out the money to eat food that i wasn't sure i would like. I decided against my better judgement and got some "Chicken Noodle".  So i was thinking, whats the gamble. It's cheap and it is noodles and chicken.  Oh was I so misled, there was every herb and pepper known to man in it. I did eat most of it. Unfortunately I will not return my business to that fine establishment. Sorry Megan, I am sure you won't be offended.  One for two in one day on authentic foreign foods is pretty solid. So at the end of the day i wasn't disappointed.  Until next time,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Awesomeness in China!

      It is day 22 roughly and a lot has happened since the last post. In the spectrum of China.  I recently got to go snowboarding with Chris Failla, the head of our China family.  My expectations wern't very high after hearing Chris say it was only a bunny hill.  So i prepared my heart for something uniquely special. That is exactly what i got.  Most people that ski create moguls. Well the Chinese have a different method of doing it. They bomb down in one straight path and create not moguls but mini half pipes. To top it off they don't know how to stop or turn,  so at the bottom of the hill they just tuck and roll. Let me tell you they really roll!  Chris and I and a couple of other guys from Xi'an built a little kicker and hit that all day. Trying to perfect the 360.  It was a very memorable day of many to come.  

       Another totally amazing thing that I had the privilege of experiencing was the Chinese new year!  It doesn't sound to thrilling but the fact is i couldn't describe it with words.  Last night at twelve o'clock Matt, Chris and I went up on our roof to watch this phenomenon.  From twelve to one o'clock in the morning the Chinese locals set off fireworks.  From everywhere. A full 360 degree experience.  There is nothing in states that would even hold a candle to this. I know some of you would beg to differ, i will tell you that you are wrong.  They blow up right in front of you, it's majestic.  I am sure my eye site and hearing has been damaged permanently but it was so worth it.  I wish i could show you how amazing this was. But unless you come to China during this time of year you will never get the full experience.  That is all the news that has happened recently.  I hope my writing isn't boring everyone.  I am not a writer.  Until next time.