A Special Thanksgiving

Okay, I guess I’ll go ahead and blow my chances of ever having a government job. In 2015, when I was working in a kindergarten I was just a little arrested. Now, don’t be judgey. I actually hadn’t done anything wrong, but one of the rival kindergartens told the local police that I was working in their city without proper documentation (they were wrong), so they had to investigate.

In a nutshell, I sat in the room in the picture above for a few hours while they asked me questions. It actually wasn’t too bad. The officers were kind and they even tried to scrounge up a translator for me, but after a little bit they realized we wouldn’t have any communication issues. They would come in and ask official questions and leave for a little bit. Then they would sneak in and ask me if I like NBA or what my hobbies were just because they were curious. The funny thing is that, because it was Thanksgiving day, I had a tub of jello in my backpack (I made it to give to my students, but oh well) so we broke it out and ate it together. They liked it for the most part, but some of them thought it was too sweet.

IMG_9928These are the nice officers who took me in. You can see that their car is state of the art…

When I explained to them that it was Thanksgiving, an American holiday during which families and friends get together to eat a huge meal and talk about what we’re thankful for, they felt really bad. So they took me to their cafeteria and made a simple dinner for all of us to share. It was no turkey dinner, but I let it slide :).

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After they had confirmed that I was in the country on a legal visa they let me go. Actually, they drove me home. During the next few months that I was in that city I saw some of the officers a couple times and we chatted like BFFs. Over all it was a pretty positive experience.  And, lets get real, it makes for one heck of a story.

Window of the World

To understand why Window of the World is so cool you need to know just a little Chinese History. Due to some political instability in the 1900s China closed its borders to foreigners. There was little import or export and there was zero education about the world outside the Chinese borders. However, in the 1970s Deng XiaoPing realized that direct foreign trade was the only way to bring China out of it’s current sate of poverty. So he opened up just 4 cities to the outside world, one of them being Shenzhen in the Guangdong province. Shenzhen is one China’s major port cities because it is right next door to Hong Kong, It soon became apparent that the locals had no clue how to interact with all the foreigners pouring in, so in the 1980s, Window of the World was created. It was a way to teach the locals about the geography and cultures of the world.

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Window to the World showcases small versions of 160 major historical sites throughout the world. Everything from the pyramids to Stonehenge. The 118 acre park is sectioned off by continents. I spent a little time in Africa and then wandered into Europe and then to the rest of the world within a matter of hours. It was so cool!

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This link will take you to Travel China Guide’s description and suggestions on how to get there.

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If you ever hop down to Shenzhen and Hong Kong for a visa run I would definitely suggest stopping by, it’s totally worth your time.

Lantern Festival

You’ve seen the movie Tangled right? If you can picture the lantern scene when Fin and Rapunzel are on the lake, you can have a good idea of what the Lantern Festival in China is like. I’ll tell you right now, if you have a potential loved one, taking them to this Festival would be a good time to lock your relationship down. It has some serious romantic potential.

The 2018 Lantern Festival will be on March 2, if you’re in or near China be sure to check it out!

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More Translations

NUMBERS:

One
èr, Two
sān, Three
Four
Five
liù Six
Seven
Eight
jiǔ Nine
shí Ten
一百 yībǎi One hundred
一千 yīqiān One thousand

FRUIT:

西红柿 xīhóngshì tomato
草莓 cǎoméi strawberry
菠萝 bōluó pineapple
pear
橙子 gānjú orange
西瓜 xīguā watermelon
苹果 píngguǒ apple
香蕉 xiāngjiāo banana
椰子 yēzi coconut
黄瓜 huángguā cucumber
火龙果 huǒlóngguǒ dragon fruit
葡萄 pútaó grape
柠檬 níngméng lemon
芒果 mángguǒ mango
荔枝 Lìzhī lychee
柚子 yóuzǐ pomelo
莲雾 liánwù wax apples
山竹 shānzhúguǒ mangosteen

VEGETABLES:

cōng scallion / green onion
红萝卜 hóng luó bó carrot
jiāng ginger
卷心菜 juǎn xīn cài cabbage
辣椒 là jiāo hot pepper
土豆 tǔdòu potato
茄子 qié zi eggplant
生菜 shēng cài lettuce
洋葱 yáng cōng onion
玉米 yù mǐ corn

ESSENTIAL WORDS AND PHRASES:

你好 Nǐ hǎo Hello
你好吗? Nǐ hǎo ma? How are you?
Hǎo good
谢谢 Xièxiè Thank you
对不起 Duìbùqǐ I am sorry
这是什么? Zhè shì shénme? What is this?
多少钱? Duōshǎo qián? How much is it?
厕所 Cèsuǒ Bathroom

CALENDAR:

礼拜一 Lǐbài yī Monday
礼拜二 Lǐbài èr Tuesday
礼拜三 Lǐbài sān Wednesday
礼拜四 Lǐbài sì Thursday
礼拜五 Lǐbài wǔ Friday
礼拜六 Lǐbài liù Saturday
礼拜天 Lǐbài tiān Sunday
Tiān Day
Zhōu Week
Yuè Month
Nián Year

Here’s the PDF version.

The Beds

This is fairly simple, Chinese beds are hard as bricks. I’m not exaggerating, most of them are simple wooden frames with a sheet over the top. The sheet obviously doesn’t add any padding. I think it’s there to keep the owner from getting splinters in their sleep 😜.

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This bed, for example, is advertised as a “soft wood” bed.

A lot of people in China use Taobao (kind of like Amazon) to buy foam pads if they’re staying in China for an extended period of time. The prices vary between $20-$60 depending on the thickness and quality of the foam. You won’t have to worry about the hard beds if you’re staying in hotels and hostels. They usually spring for soft mattresses. Hard experience has taught me that belly flopping onto a bed at the end of a long day is not a great idea. Be careful!

 

Places to See

I’m not going to spend very much time telling you about all the cool places to see in China or how to get to them. You can find all of that information online or from a travel guide like Lonely Planet China. Instead I’ve decided to just put up a few pictures and their locations. You can copy their names and do your own research to see if it seems like something you would like to see.

The Summer Palace, Beijing13016_10153087937895733_5902043487558532603_n

Forbidden City, Beijing295318_10151063699240733_2004040920_n

Mutinayu, Great Wall, Beijing11913988_10153450879605733_4408554135834647891_n

Temple of Heaven, Beijing399175_10151063701820733_2120055462_n

Terra cotta Warriors, Xi’an, Shaanxi35199_444103300732_5814765_n

Linyi Temple, Hangzhou, Zhejiang18799_10153087965815733_14424736644085688_n

Zhangjiajie, Hunan37427_444102910732_4587677_n

Shaolin Temple, Henan179540_10151117284870733_1679151618_n

Shaolin Temple Grounds, Henan392312_10151117286330733_306117832_n

Longmen Grottos, Luoyang, Henan487320_10151117288430733_232011605_n

The Bund, Shanghai563900_10151117261760733_353437842_n

Qibao, Shanghai11209743_10153189884310733_2233369522544027706_n

Qibao, Shanghai292344_10151117264320733_1983029023_n

Purple Mountain, Nanjing425051_10151063690935733_233010878_n

Fuzimiao, Nanjing, Jiangsu11091285_10153128831350733_6206275443539083408_n

Cornflower fields, Taizhou, Jiangsu10428494_10153128831640733_4656411623221798725_n

Leshan Buddha, Sichuan10930109_10153189878110733_198976496908372282_n

Panda Reserve, Chengdu, China11130163_10153189872865733_4670864147607198831_n

Face changing show, Chengdu, Sichuan11165146_10153189890705733_7943688785849009053_n

Yangshou, Guangxi fullsizeoutput_aa

1,500 year old tree Banyan, Yangshuo, Guangxifullsizeoutput_9e