In China...

Trip Start Aug 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Nihao ma? ("Hello, how are you" in Chinese.) I arrived safely in China Friday evening. There wasn't anyone to meet us at the Beijing airport, but we got through customs without a hitch, though I must say that I set off the metal detectors with my cowboy hat. That was an adventure. I had to be wanded with this little metal detector thing and then patted down by this Chinese lady, but it wasn't too bad. Once she figured out that it was my hat it was OK. While we were sitting near our gate, a Chinese woman came up to me and asked if I had flown from Chicago. She had been on the flight and recognized me by my hat. She lives in the US and was going to Dalian too, to go to her sister's wedding. Imagine that!
When we got to Dalian we made it through the airport without a hitch and we had people from the University waiting for us. It was a relief because we weren't sure where to go from there. They drove us to our apartment which is about a ten minutes walk from campus (I haven't timed it yet.) The apartment is awesome! I love it!!! Beautiful hardwood floors, and a generally nice, modern design.
On Saturday I woke up before 5 AM. Selina, one of the girls from the office, came at nine to take us to the University where we called home and checked our email (we don't have email or telephone service yet in our apartment.) After we got done with that she took us to new mart to buy a few necessities, and I got my first taste of Chinese food- I had a delicious grape flavored ice cream bar. We went back to the University then, and I called Mama and Papa again (Tami had called Selina and talked to me and insisted that I talk to my family for longer, which I really appreciated.) Then we met Phil Whitkorn (I think that is his last name), his wife and their two children. They took us out to eat our first real meal in China. I was a little aprehensive at first, because there were fish and eels and other apetizing looking things swimming in tanks in the front of the store (and smelling very fishy), waiting to be eaten. We had some kind of pork, chicken, spicy potatoes (potato strings with ginger and other spices), seasoned brocoli and of course rice. The rice that I got had scrambled egg in it. It was good. I really liked the chicken. We brought the meat and rice home and the other girls broght some pastries that they got at the resteraunt. I wish that I could have had some. They looked really good!
Sunday, we went to Church and met several new people. In the afternoon we went to Olympic square with Kayla and Chris, two teachers (not much older than us) from MSU. It was really neat seeing the sights there on the bay. After we were done with our walk we took a taxi (four girls in the backseat...) and went to New Mart to get some necessities. I got orange juice (that tastes like orange tang with some orange pulp added. It's good) and a can of peach flavored soda. I am saving the soda for later. After we were done shopping we walked home to put away our goodies and then went back out to get dinner at the same resteraunt that we had gone to on Saturday. That was an adventure, as we did not have someone to translate for us! We did OK though. We didn't get the Sprite that we thought we ordered, we drank green tea instead. It was good. We got two extra bowls of rice too, but oh well, we had it for breakfast this morning! We had the pork again and also ordered a plate of sweet and sour shrimp. We weren't sure what we were ordering, we just pointed to a picture on the menu and that's what we got! It was good. After dinner, we decided to explore the neighborhood right around where we live. There are a lot of people in China! It was really neat. At one point we had some little boys (around 7 or 8 years old) yell hello to us. I said hello back and they said something in Chinese to each other and laughed. I think they might have been saying something about us being foreigners, but I'm not sure... :) After we got home we hung out in the living room and did homework and discussed watching a movie, but we finally went to bed and I journaled. 
Yesterday, we went to the bank and got some of our money exchanged. I feel rich now. They give you so much cash back for the cash you handed in! We also went to the University and found out what we are going to be doing. Thursdays we have our culture class from 8-11 am. We will also be working in the writing center to help the students with their papers. I'm not sure which days of the week I'll be working at the writing center. I'll try to post when I find out for sure. I am excited about the culture class. We are going to get to learn elementary Chinese! Woo hoo!!! I am going to enjoy working in the writing center, too. I love English and all the Chinese students I have met so far are really nice. One of the students, Christina, took Emma, Chelsea and I out and about town yesterday evening. We got to go to Wal-Mart! It was a lot like our Wal-Marts back at home- they even have the Great Value and Mainstay brands! After Wal-Mart we took our selves to a Japanese mall. It was pretty high end. Oh, I got Gatoraide. I haven't tried it yet, but the bottle looks pretty much the same except it is in Chinese! We then went to dinner at a resteraunt which we hadn't been to yet. We had been going to a resteraunt close to home which has very good food. This one was pretty nice. I had spicy chicken. It was good. It was one of the few things that I could have off of the menu (everything seemed to be made with dumplings or noodles.) Oh, I love the tea. It is really good and almost has a ricey flavor to it. We then took a cab home- the first time we have taken a cab without a translator with us! Christina told the cab driver where we needed to go and then walked home. The rascal wouldn't let us pay for her cab fare and insisted on walking! Oh, well, I hope she made it home OK!

Well, that is all the news I have for now.

Hitou jian! ("I'll see you later" in Chinese.)

Slideshow Report as Spam


bluepickle on

I can't wait to hear how everything is going! I'm very excited for you!

bluepickle on

Oh, that was me...
Sorry - Bluepickle is my login name for most sites....this is Jennifer Harrison.

kathryn.klug on

Re: Oh, that was me...
OK! I thought it might be you!

jwally on

Hi, Katie! Just letting you know Dan and I are praying for you while you're off on a great adventure. Is there anything specific we can pray with you about?


kathryn.klug on

Re: Hi!
I really appreciate that! Could you pray that I overcome some of my timidity and shyness? I am acting terribly introverted especially around my roomates which is not very sociable of me! Thanks!


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