Saturday, February 26, 2011

Learning Chinese

A Toast to the Host.

Worn my new red jacket to church today. Church was in my apartment. We had 12 people over for church today. Then we all stayed and enjoyed a wonderful lunch together and sang some chinese songs.

See the many cans of Sprite. We all drank sprite Friday night at our special twig night out with David Chun, et al.
The place was a large party room which David Chun had reserved and invited us to.

HOT POTGood Food.

This is Dana writing today. We love our blog and the opportunity it gives us to share our stories and adventures with our family and friends. It also makes a written and photographic record of our love for and our life in China.

I am really proud of Jay who has really taken an interest in learning (mandarin) the local language here. He is doing quite well and surprises me often with his ability to communicate with the people. He has learned and sings a couple of popular Chinese songs for his students, at parties or school activities, or for anyone who will listen, in Chinese!

Here he is last Friday night at a wonderfully delicious (Hot Pot) dinner, toasting the host and his Chinese friends who treated our English teachers group and thanking them for the wonderful meal and their hospitality. He really has a lot of fun with it. I cannot understand him and the other teachers cannot understand him, but the Chinese people seem to be able to. What do you think? He says he has a long way to go. We all rely on him in when travelling, eating out, shopping and in the open market place.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Learn to Like Things.

Fresh Fruits are best.

I have always loved them. Strawberries are in season here. They are delicious but have a very short shelf life. But in addition to tropical fruits and vegetables, I have learned to like many other things here. One of the recent ones I have found in China is: Wonton Soup.

These fresh strawberries were at the open market today...

Jay discovered this wonderful wanton soup at a hole in the wall, little, lunch place, and I am standing in the photo below with a lady who begs for a living and instead of giving her money I bought her some soup instead. I had some and she loved it too. It costs only $3. RMB per bowl...less than .50 cents American. We try to do this now with beggars. It is really quite fun and a new twist for them.

I would throw this picture away because it really isn't that flattering of me, but when I gave three of those people wanton soup who were also begging and then she asked me if I believed in God? Of course we can say yes to that without getting in trouble, but then she told me that is the reason I have a good heart. Of course I had to say yes, that is probably true.

These are the bowls they are filling with soup. It is either 3 RMB or 6 RMB depending upon the size and number of wantons. The 3. bowl is really more than enough, but I love this stuff, so I like to get the big 6. RMB one. This is where we eat. Of course we are the only foreigners here so they really watch us try to consume their food with chopsticks and giant spoons...

This day was really cold, but the soup was really hot. This is the little lady asking us for money.
Here they are preparing the freshly made pork wontons to put in the hot soup/water.

Now we have found another place to eat some interesting and new things many of which I have really learned to love. Another place is in the new shopping center across from our apartment/campus. It is a new Thai restaurant called "RAIN". I love their coconut soup. But at this place, we quickly discovered that they have great spring rolls, but best of all they have lettuce wraps. This wonderful lady sitting with us -- is Gwen Bardsley, from Provo, who is eating out with us. She also teaches English here in Jinan. She is doing very well and she is clearly happy here. Look at the food! It was so delicious...and now she knows it too.

Below, this is Jay and Dana. Gwen is taking the picture this time. It is great to find more and more Chinese food that we can eat quite cheaply and enjoy while we finish our last 6 months here. We are scheduled to return to Provo at the end of June, 2011. See you all soon. Please comment on this post to see if anyone is reading it. Who are you out there?

Is anyone listening?