Sunday, November 8, 2009

So what is different?

So what is different about our lives now?

So many things.....while some remain the same.

School and homework remain the same for Elisabeth. Yet her school is totally different-her classmates are Russian, Korean, American, German, Chinese. Her teacher's are Chinese, Chinese American, South African, TCK's.

Paul and I have homework. When I finished graduate school in 2007, I swore I would never go back to school. And yet here we are!

We no longer drive. I haven't driven since August 27. Paul hasn't driven since September 13. We ride bicycles most of the time-to get to language school, to shop, to go to friend's houses. For longer trips we take the bus or a taxi. The bus is 1 kuai or about 15 cents. Taxi's are a minimum of 8 kuai or a little more than a dollar.

We no longer shop in bulk. Food here has very few preservatives and must be eaten quickly. We can not carry large amounts of food on our bicycles. Our frig and freezer are too small for bulk shopping.

We no longer use hot water to wash our clothes. Our washing machine is set up for cold water only. We dry our clothes on an amazing pulley system clothesline that is inside of our house.

We no longer obey American traffic laws. In China, he who hesitates is lost...on a bicycle. Need to ride your bike on the wrong side of the street to get to where you need to go? No problem. Cross against a red light? Go ahead! Wear a helmet? Are you kidding?

We no longer use ATM's or our credit card for anything but getting cash out of China Construction Bank. This is a total cash society. We carry cash all the time.

Recycling- we don't do it any more...at least not how we did it in America. Here, poor people take the bottles and return them for cash. We put our bottles in a separate plastic bag to make it easier for them.

No more Sunday morning gathering in a building. Only gathering with like minded people in different homes. It's different but good.

No more TV. We actually have one but we never watch it. We do watch some TV online when we need a mental break. Go Jim and Pam! Sweetest wedding ever!

We don't hear dogs, lawnmowers, birds or planes. We hear traffic, people talking, people spitting, construction across the street, fireworks, honking.

We still shop, cook, clean and do daily life...just with a different flavor.

We do know that the One we love and serve never changes...and that is a wonderful constant in our lives.

1 comment:

Jimmie said...

What a fun list. Lots of things are different. Some are good, and some are really irritating. When I spend time in USA, I miss things about China. One particular thing is the convenience of just walking out and picking up a bag of salt or a soft drink or some fruit. There are no street vendors where I live in USA. We have to DRIVE somewhere to shop. So it always feels like a hassle to get out. But then again, the stores in USA are so very comfortable -- big cards, huge wide aisles, a gazillion choices. Sigh..