Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missing Cheer

Cheer was only home for like one day in the last two weeks. I miss having her around. Huzi isn't very good company either. He just tries to bark at me when I want to sleep. He tries to bite me when i want to pet him. His #1 favorite thing to do...........he waits until I'm not looking and tears up my stuff.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blogger Blocked in China

Well, now it's official. My blog and every other in existence is blocked by the Chinese govt. This is so annoying. I had to get creative to post on my own blog. I never thought I would learn so many ways to get around firewalls and the like. It's so funny to me because the Chinese must know that they aren't stoping anyone from viewing "illegal" content. They're just making it more difficult (slow) to get to.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the countryside

Here are some pics. from late last month. We went out to the countryside to take pictures of Fang Fang and her husband in their wedding garb. I managed to get into a few pictures myself. We all had a lot of fun, and after the "photo shoot" Joe and I walked around quite a bit. Joe gets credit for all of these photos and I want to give a shout out to Joe for coming up with the name of this blog!Notice the puppies in the background. I like this photo. You see people dragging carts like this one around town every day.
This is a typical small village.
I love this photo, too.
Joe was trying to take a picture of me with my mean farmer face on, but Fang Fang jumped in on it.I'm sorry there is no Chinese on this post. Cheer is out of town, and it would just take me to darn long! Here are some more photos of the country just outside Weinan.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

Yes, I now have a t-shirt that says "Kung Pao Chicken." It sort of baffles Chinese people who read it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 5th- last day in Beijing

We didn't feel like doing much on our last day in Beijing. We had planned to go to the Great Wall, but decided to take it easy instead. We walked around some more interesting alleys and got more tasty tea ice cream. I think I ate three ice cream cones! We had dinner at an amazing Chinese restaurant featuring food from Yunnan.
在北京的最后的一天,我们本来打算去长城和十三陵,但这天,我们实在懒得不想动。我们步行过一些胡同,到了王府井,吃了更多的茶味冰淇淋。我想我吃了3个!我们在一家叫做茶马古道的云南餐厅用了晚餐。在琉璃厂的胡同里,我看到了玩沙子的孩子们,立刻想起了自己的小时候。 在这个现代的都市里,找到这些残留的80年代气息,让我觉得惬意。 多想再次拥有那些缓慢的时光。In the alley, we saw some children playing with sand. It reminded me of my childhood. In such a modern city, I still found something that reminded me of the 80's. It made me happy. I wish I could go back to those slow times again.北京的旅行在我们踏上火车的一刻宣告了结束。从王府井回火车站的出租车上,正好太阳落山,我们幸运的看到了降旗, 弥补了那天的遗憾。国旗缓缓降落,伴着夕阳,像是北京在对我们说再见。
我们坐的是火车的“头等舱”,非常舒服的软卧,有独立广播,早上醒来有咖啡。Stepping on the train, for us, signaled the end of our trip to Beijing. In the taxi from the shopping street to the train station, we saw the lowering of the Chinese flag in Tiananmen Square. It's just as if Beijing was saying goodbye to us.
We had first-class beds on the train and were able to get on the train early. We had a very comfortable journey and were served coffee in the morning.

May 4th- U.S Embassy and stuff

Well, we went to the U.S. Embassy on our fourth day in Beijing to get my Marriageability Certificate. Security was tight (as expected). I couldn't even take my phone or camera into the compound. After that we walked around the East part of Beijing quite a bit. We found a Texas barbecue place where Igot some tasty beef brisket! In the evening we went out with Cheer's friend to a "snack street" so they could eat all the parts of the animals that I won't touch.我们去了美国大使馆,领到了我们结婚需要的证明。我甚至不能带手机和相机进去。后来我们在北京的东部到处走了走。我们找到了一家德州的餐馆, 吃了浇着barbecue的烹饪了6个多小时的小牛肉。晚上,我们和Cheer的朋友一起去逛了小吃街,她们吃了我从不碰的动物的脖子肚子等。
见到熊熊的时候,是在王府井,如我所料,她穿着黑色的一身。她还像大学里一样,带着我们去吃他们公司的茶冰淇淋,去东来顺吃铜锅涮羊肉,胡乱逛,在小吃一条街上吃爆肚…… 我听着她的生活,觉得她孤独…… 后来她要坐地铁回家了,她一转身,我就止不住眼泪……我怎么脑子里一副,她坐着地铁流眼泪的画面……我知道,她和我一样,有朋友在身边,笑起来会很明媚,一大堆事情弄得自己很忙,但藏在心中的孤独感却挥之不去……我们,是散落在人间的孤单种子……When I met my friend Xiong Xiong, it was at Wang Fu Jing Street. She still wears black like she did in college. She took us to try her company's tea ice cream, and she took us to try a traditional Beijing hot pot (lamb) We walked around and ate stomach on snack street. I listened to her talk about her life. I feel she's very lonely....Then as she went to the subway station to return home, she turned around to look at me and I couldn't control my tears. There is a picture in my mind of her sitting in the subway wiping the tears from her eyes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 3rd- 798 Art District ,邱志杰的艺术展在798

喜欢798,相信喜欢的人很多,我不想矫情说自己是喜欢那些艺术,说实话,有些所谓的艺术,我是看不懂的,有些店挤满了各名家的画,像嘈杂的集市,各个画作争鲜斗妍,我都听得到它们叽喳的争吵和互相的贬低。我喜欢的,这里的街道,安静得;这里的餐厅,可以在太阳落山时看着夕阳,一边在露天咖啡喝到正宗的韩国海鲜汤和加着真正柠檬的科罗娜;还有,那些摆着小书摊的游击队,我们在这里买到了心爱的Vitamin D和Vitamin PH,只花了380元,在王府井外文书店,一本都卖到了710。还有什么呢,恩,看到了邱志杰的艺术展,关于长江大桥的,像一场洗涤心灵的雨。I didn't know what was happening when Rob took this picture. I sat down and felt as if we were having another earthquake because the bricks were wobbly. I liked 798 art district even though I didn't understand some of the art. Some places had many paintings hanging like a market. Each painting was clamoring for my attention. What I liked best were the quiet tree-lined streets and the nice outdoor cafes. We sat at one cafe and had good food. I had Korean fried rice and a Corona with fresh lemon. Rob had a bagel with cream cheese and was very excited about it. We found a man selling art books out of a bicycle-cart and got some great buys. We bought two art books called Vitamin D and Vitamin PH for only 380元. Later, we found the same books at a book store for 710元 each. We saw an incredible art installation by a well-known Chinese artist. It was so big and was incredibly complex/ well thought out!

May 3rd,颐和园的夏天

右边的这只动物是龙的其中一子,叫做饕餮,食量惊人,古代的容器上总雕着它,意思是祈求五谷丰登,年年丰收。 这里放着这个,大概也是希望百姓生活兴旺,衣食不愁吧。
The Summer Palace is where the emperors would spend their summers. There are hills and lakes, so it has very good feng shui. The garden in the Forbidden is very small. It cannot compare with the summer palace. As soon as we went in, some young girls asked Rob to have their picture taken with him.
The animal here is a son of a dragon named Taotie. He can eat a lot, but he will never get full. Containers in old times always had him carved on them, which meant that they would always have a large harvest and have enough to eat.
This is a picture of me and Hexiangu (a very famous fairy in old China). We are standing in a place where the Empress Ci Xi used to watch operas. She was very self-absorbed. There were a lot of pictures of her in one room. In every picture she was sitting in the same position. I wondered why there would be so many pictures of her like this, but then I realized that in each picture she was wearing different clothes. Everything was the same from one picture to the next except for her outfit. I can imagine what it would have been like with her changing clothes for each picture all day and ordering people around. The picture below is a three storey stage for Ci Xi to watch her operas.
逛了几个庭院,我们就来到了昆明湖边,和世界上最长的长廊。长廊上有14800幅画作,分为春,夏,秋,冬四个主题。After walking through a few courtyards, we arrived at Kunming Lake and we saw the longest corridor in the world. This beautiful corridor is covered in 14,800 paintings. With Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter as the theme.

Rob and I are sitting by Kunming Lake with Wanshou Hill in the background. There are 100 steps to the temple atop Wanshou Hill, which symbolizes a long life. We climbed up the 100 steps and saw some beautiful scenery at the top. We could also see a neat temple with large turning towers which functioned as giant prayer wheels. When we went down the back of Wanshou Hill we saw Suzhou Street.
The giant prayer wheels of Wanshou temple with dieties on top.
The palace of Ci Xi. She lived in style and had very modern stuff (notice the electric lamp!) She had a large table piled high with fruits (which she didn't eat) just to make her room smell good.
The picture below is Suzhou Street (called that because it resembles the architecture in the famous Chinese city of Suzhou)
Here are pictures of Cheer and I with this little dragon dude. He is the 9th son of the dragon king and has no butthole. His name is 貔貅(Pixiu). He supposedly eats jewelry, gold and other treasure. One day, the king of heaven had a meeting in Heaven. Little Pixiu was there too. He wanted to take a dump because he had eaten so much treasure that day, but was trying hard to hold it during the meeting. Finally, he couldn't hold it any longer and he let loose all over the meeting hall. The king was so angry that he spanked Pixiu and permanently plugged his butt! Now he has become a lucky symbol for businesspeople who wish to gain wealth.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 2nd -Hutong tour

After going to the Forbidden City (see below) we decided to take a tour of the Hutongs (alleys) in a pedicab. The guy said he would take us around for 40 minutes down 8 Hutongs. He totally ripped us off. He took us down one and the let us off. He said it would have taken us 40 minutes if we had toured the old Eunuch's residence that he stopped at briefly. I wasn't in the mood to argue (for once).出了故宫,有很多招揽胡同游的人力车,我们决定试试,就是下面照片里的这个烂人,把我们给骗了。他说,胡同游,40分钟,8大胡同。结果他骑着车子把我们拐进了一条小巷,问我们愿不愿意进一个太监住过的四合院看看,门票25一张,我们说不去了,结果他把我们拉出了小巷,说逛完了。我们问他不是说40分钟呢吗,这哪够啊,他说进四合院就够了。。。晕死,还好,这一次逛故宫逛的精疲力尽的Rob没有发作。We decided to walk around on our own. We saw some good Hutongs on foot and found a great Vietnamese restaurant...........我们到处自己走了走,倒是发现了很多不错的胡同和名人故居,还有旧时的文化社团。有一个意外惊喜,就是,找到一个很棒很棒的叫做“西贡在法国”的餐厅。Rob点了小牛肉和来自南非的红酒,我点了西贡烤虾和产自法国的白葡萄酒,(葡萄的种类忘掉了),喜欢越南的汤,加了柠檬草,淡淡的鸡汤喝起来很舒服。dessert 我点的是一种像布丁一样的越南菜,Rob点了樱桃口味的越南咖啡,越南的咖啡总是浓缩的很重的咖啡,然后加很多糖,我啜了一小口,然后决定也要一杯。这顿饭吃得价格不菲,让我想到了安妮宝贝在西贡的生活。 Rob一直说想要去越南小住,这下,我也提起了兴趣。Rob had the beef with a South African Syrah. I ordered grilled shrimp with French white wine. We loved the Vietnamese soup with lemongrass and Chicken. It was light and delicious. For dessert we ordered flan and had vanilla espresso with lots of sugar. We also ordered a cherry espresso...what a great meal! It was a little expensive, but it made me think about Annie Baobei's (a famous writer) life in Xigong. Rob always says he'd like to try teaching in Vietnam for a year, and now I'd like to go too.