Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekend in Review

This past weekend we had a great time! Saturday we met up with Daniel, Ashley, and Molly and first went to the fabric market. Daniel had a shirt made for him by a tailor (which turned out fantastic, by the way). Then we went to a hot pot restaurant in our building. Basically it's like Chinese fondue. It is a hot broth that you cook all kinds of vegetables and meats in. It was amazing. And all-you-can-eat! The dark broth was a really spicy broth. The other side was not spicy. You also make your own dipping sauce with soy sauce, vinegar, spicy sauce, garlic, onion, etc. Yum!

Then we hit up the art market! Sorry I should have taken pictures. Just imagine small shop after small shop of oil paintings - every kind imaginable. Matt bought this picture of Hong Kong. I can't wait to go back to there this summer.

While we were wandering we discovered a Buddhist Temple and couldn't resist taking some photos of the incredible carvings and art.

The tall brick building to the right is where they burn money. Fake money that they buy to burn.

I just thought this one was cool.

And our personal favorite - a picture of a Chinese guy riding a turtle.

We met up with some more people and saw Men in Black 3.  Great humor, but I'm really not that into aliens so not my favorite.

Sunday after church we decided to go on a walk to ZhongshanLu - a pedestrian street market. I didn't take any picture of that. But I took some of Gulanyu island from the ferry terminal.

The buildings that you can vaguely see in the background of this picture are on mainland China, but still part of the city Xiamen. We live on the island part of Xiamen. The boat is a ferry to Gulanyu island - a touristy island with no cars allowed.

This is another picture of Gulanyu. I believe the domed building is the organ museum.

And walking back to our apartment Matt found a new friend.

About ten minutes after we got home it started pouring rain. So perfect timing!

Matt's Hair Cut



Handsome guy huh?

Pretty good for not speaking the language! He just motioned to them that he wanted the same style, only shorter.

As for me, I will not be getting a hair cut here. I'm not brave enough. My hair can wait until October 26th.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Water Cooler = Poison

One of the many joys of living in China is that you can't drink the water (of course). So that means you get to go to the store every other day and buy an insane amount of water bottles (seriously...think about how much water you would have to buy if you could only drink out of water bottles...and if you had to carry those water bottles from the store to your apartment...). And then we remembered we had this lovely water cooler just sitting in our apartment, begging to be used.

And we found out it was really cheap to buy just the big jugs of water! A much better solution! So I had one of the girls from Matt's office, Yimi, call and have a jug of water delivered.

The guy came, I paid him, he put the water jug on, and then he left. I got a glass out, all excited to use it, and.....all this yucky stuff came out with the water!!!!

So we called the guy back to come clean it out (we is not me, obviously, since I don't speak Chinese). The water guy and my maid (after me doing lots of charades to let them know what was wrong with it) started cleaning it. Then they called Yimi...who translated to not drink the water because the machine is dirty and the water going through it will be POISON. Ha! (Mom - don't worry, I didn't drink it).

Needless to say, we had a new water cooler delivered...that will not result in poisonous water.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday Walk

Sunday afternoon Matt and I went on a walk. We went down the street to a pond. It was really beautiful - a pond in the middle of such a big city. There were lots of trees and flowers too. Here are some pictures of our adventure.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Breakfast & Snack

Thought I would take a picture of what my breakfast looked like this morning. Just for fun.

A hard-boiled egg, wheat toast with strawberry jam, and some fruit. There really isn't much of a choice for breakfast here except for eggs or oatmeal. The cereal is all imported so it's really expensive.

The fruit here is amazing, I am loving it. I don't know what most of it is called though because I've never seen it before.

The orange one is like a mango/peach thing. It is round, and has these three big seeds in the middle. The red one is some sort of berry. This is what it looks like up close. It has a pit in the middle like a cherry. Anyone know the English name for it?

Matt got a treat at work from one of his co-workers. It was from the person's hometown. It comes in this cute little red wrapped package. Inside was this delicious treat - tasted like a butterfinger (minus the chocolate that is on a butterfinger). Amazing.

Dinner and Wal-Mart

Tuesday night we went to dinner with some of the people Matt works with. It was Chinese food at a restaurant fairly close to our apartment.

The menu had big pictures and some words in English. We were a little skeptical of this dish - but ordered it anyway. It ended up being one of our favorites. Tasted kind of like sweet and sour chicken.

Sorry, I'm not smart enough to turn it today. It says 'Fish spicy chicken jumped in'. Haha. I love funny translations.

We got this whole spread for about 40 RMB per person (a little over $6 USD each). And I think they brought out another dish after this pictures was taken too.

The black bowl had like a mushroom and vegetable stir fry. To the left was this spicy lamb that you wrapped in something similar to a pita or soft taco shell. The other dishes were dumplings, chicken, and I think more lamb, and some cucumbers.

People at Matt's office: Molly is on the left, Yimi in the middle, and Jason.

 Above is Daniel on the left, he lives here with his wife Ashley. They have lived here for about a year and will be here until December. Ashley is out of town this week. Sean is on the right, he is on a business trip here for 2 weeks.

And Matt and I. It was raining that day so super humid. My hair was a mess.

I asked Yimi and Molly to take me to Wal-Mart to help me with what everything is (since I can't read the labels and all). They were super nice to help! Here are some pictures of our shopping excursion.

Yimi is on the left, and Molly on the right. We are on the escalator ramp taking us to the 3rd floor when the food is. The clothes, towels, kitchen stuff, etc. are on the 2nd floor.

See? Looks exactly like Wal-Mart at home. The only things that are different are the signs are in Chinese and all four wheels on the cart swivel 360 degrees, which is cool.

This is the milk aisle. Interesting...not refrigerated. I think they must have some crazy preservatives or chemicals in it. Once you open a carton it is only good for 24 hours, which is why most of it is in the small juice box sized boxes. We bought one to see what it tastes like. I'll let you know how it tastes once we are brave enough to try it.

Preserved chicken feet in a bag anyone? Trust me, there is much worse in the meat department.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Stuff

Wanna know something fun about moving to a new country?? (Well, there are lots of things, this is just one thing). You get to buy new stuff! New towels, dishes, etc. Here are the dishes I picked out. They are from Wal-Mart. They are pretty.

I let Matt pick out the soup spoons and the little sauce bowl because they didn't have matching of the same set. This is what he picked out. It's called 'The Joyful Pig'. Haha.

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Day of Work

Today was Matt's first day of work at Lifetime China! I decided he needed a first day of work photo! (The hand symbols are what Asians always do in pictures :)).

Here is a picture of his office.

And a picture of a Chinese assembly line in the factory.

Apparently Matt got bored today and decided to go out on the roof of Lifetime China. But a pretty picture regardless.

Arrival and Apartment

Hello from China! We have arrived safe and sound.

We left on Tuesday, May 8th. We had 6 suitcases and 4 carry-ons. Included in the carry-ons were 3 laptops, 4 cell phones, 2 iPads, 2 iPods, a Kindle, and my violin. Wow! And, of course, a lot of clothes and other stuff in the suitcases! When we got to the airport, we realized we only had 5 of our 6 suitcases. Whoops! One got left upstairs. So we called my parents and they saved the lost suitcase. About 26 hours later we found ourselves in our new apartment.

Here is Matt with all of our luggage once we arrived in Xiamen. There are 3 suitcases on each of the carts.

Our apartment is on the 28th floor of our building,which is fun. Here is our front room. I am standing at the door. (Excuse the laptop cord which I have strung across the room).

And the front room standing at the windows. Note the refrigerator in the dining room. Funny.

This is the kitchen. It is really small. Hardly any cabinet space so it's good we don't have a lot of stuff.

The master bedroom. All of my toiletries are on that desk - you will see that I have no cabinet's in the bathroom. I went and bought some storage stuff at Wal-Mart today so I can store my stuff better.

The master bathroom. I couldn't figure out how to take the picture without getting myself in the mirror...

The guest bathroom.

Spare bedroom #1.

Spare bedroom #2.

And of course, no Chinese apartment would be complete without the laundry room on the enclosed patio.

And a view outside the windows of our front room.

Things are great! We are having a wonderful adventure!