Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Regaining my love of China.

Let's start off with a joke.  What is the Chinese national bird?
Answer:  The crane.

Sometimes living in another country makes you very tired.  This year, I have been tired.  The extraordinary has become ordinary.  The newness has worn off.  There just been something about the hard reality of what happened to our foster son before we got him and the hospital visit that has just made me tired and rather worn out.
We all have our presuppositions of what is normal.  Our ideas about food, sleep, health and relationships are often formed by our culture.
For example, last Sunday, Elisabeth and I walked past our favorite smoothy shop "Man Go."  It was rather warm so we decided to stop in for mango and strawberry smoothies."  But no.  We were told that we could only have hot tea.  They don't make smoothies in the winter time because if you drink cold drinks in winter, you might get sick.  Okay.....but that isn't my cultures belief.  We just smiled and left.
As we walked out into the street, a man blew his nose through his fingers and shook the phlegm onto the street.  I think that is how people get sick- by phlegm filled germs.  Can  I argue this point in the culture?  Not a chance.
Sometimes this divergence of cultures feels like a kind of crazy making.  You think that you have clearly communicated something to someone, only to find out that you haven't communicated what you thought you had because they heard what they said through their culture's ears.  It goes both ways.
Anyway, on Monday I decided to skip class and go to the library to study.  We have a nice public library and I was looking forward to some study time.  But when I got there, it was closed.  So I decided to ride my bike around until a coffee shop opened up- no 6:30 AM Starbucks openings here.
I had my camera with me and took these pictures.

This is the front of the library.  The sign in front with the clock changes with really beautiful scenes from China.

A man was playing his saxophone.  It was a lovely and peaceful place and I'd like to go back.

On the street nearby, I saw this sign.  I had high hopes it was a cobra restaurant but it turns out it's some kind of pet store.  Not that a cobra pet store is better.

Finally, a waffle at a coffee shop and a few hours of grammar review.  

It was a good morning for me to review and refresh and regain some of my excitement for being here.


Anonymous said...

Sandy, you made my day with the smoothie/snot story! I had to tell my girls what I was laughing about and Kailee said "You gotta love China!" Teri Whitten

Anonymous said...

I can relate! Though I'm not so sure I would have handled the smoothy store with as much grace as you, Sandy. I would have looked at them with big eyes and said, "Shi ma?" :)