Saturday, April 30, 2011

Procrastination

Who even procrastinates going to bed? Especially when you're tired? I worry about myself sometimes. I am currently laying in bed switching between facebook, sporcle quizzes, and blogging. It's 11:45 and I'm quite tired. But for some reason I'm not going to bed. I've been getting up much earlier than I usually get up...like 7:45. Which is great. I feel so accomplished and the day feels so much longer. The problem is, I'm not going to bed much earlier than I used to. So I'm getting less sleep. Josh and Danielle probably go to bed around 10:30. I do too. The difference is, I'm on the computer for a long time before I go to sleep. It's a bad habit, it really is. But I haven't really been tired. It's beginning to catch up with me though. I told myself that tonight I wasn't going to do that and that when I laid in bed I would go to sleep, not get on the computer. We see how that turned out. I'm working on self-discipline. It's tough stuff, man.

Yesterday the most exciting part of the day was probably going to get a haircut. We went for Danielle to get one but I ended up getting one also. When I went I hoped to get a hair wash/massage. But they don't do that at the place we went to. But I really wanted them to wash my hair...and I thought it would be adventurous to get a haircut in China. First you must understand that there is alot of strange hair in China. And also, Chinese people don't always do what you would like them to, particularly when it comes to the area of cutting hair. So I thought "Hey, why not? They'll wash my hair. Hopefully it will come out nicely...if not, I'll get over it." After all, it's just hair. And I had some dead ends that needed chopping off anyways. So I went for it. I'm pretty sure the guy only cut off how much I told him to, but it turned out shorter than I expected. I kind of freaked out. But it's all good. I'm getting used to it. By the time I see anyone I know again it will probably have grown back out to the length it was. Hopefully longer. Speaking of not seeing anyone I know...I'm pretty sure the only people I've talked to since I got here are Josh and Danielle and a couple friends of theirs. That's it. The rest speak Chinese. I miss people that can speak English.

I take it back, that wasn't the most exciting part. The most exciting part would definitely be the royal wedding. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we didn't have to get up early like you Americans did because of the time difference. It was fantastic. The music was beautiful, she was gorgeous, her dress was really pretty, William was handsome, the trees were strange, the little boys who sang were adorable, and Westminster Abbey was incredibly huge. Overall a really good wedding.

Today Danielle and I went to a Starbucks to chill and read and fun things like that. We walked around the mall searching for an H & M which we didn't find. Later we went to some friends' house for dinner and enjoyed homemade pizza. I then attempted to navigate us home from their house. Josh and Danielle only had to help me out a little bit. I have an alright sense of direction. And I have the memory of an elephant. Sometimes. Once I got us home safe and sound we watched a documentary (Josh is obsessed with documentaries) on Netflix about the Lost Boys of Sudan. It was really good. And educational. Josh is all about educational. Let me restate that...it was didactic. Every day we have had an SAT word of the day to prepare me for the SAT coming up fairly soon. We've been playing a game with the words...if you use one of the words from that day or a past day in conversation throughout the day you get one point. So far I have 3 points and Danielle and Josh each have 2 points. But the point of me telling you about our little game is because "didactic" is one of our words. I feel like I should get points for using it in a blog post.

I can't think of a good conclusion to this rather boring post. So... goodnight. And you should all go do some sporcle quizzes. They're didactic.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life as a Foreigner

In America there are alot of foreigners. But if you're like me, you hardly even notice them. They don't stand out anymore. I feel like America has become the universal gathering place of all races. Or maybe, more specifically, that would be Walmart. But the point is....I'm not accustomed to being shocked when seeing someone of a different race. If you feel like me...go to China. Everyone stares. Everyone. The other day I was walking down the street when someone glanced at me and kept going on with life like nothing was strange...and I was in complete shock. It was weird. This has happened maybe twice since I've been here. I'm telling you...they love foreigners. This morning we were crossing a road when a cab drove by. He passed us and then stopped in the middle of the road, stuck his head out the window and looked at us as we crossed the street. This afternoon we were at a park sitting on a bench and
a man walked by. As soon as he got past us he turned around and started walking backwards to look at us. This isn't America, people. Then later today in the same park we were walking down a mountain when 3 boys stopped us and asked us to take a picture with them...just because we're foreigners. There's nothing significant about us, or strange-looking about us (I don't think...). We're just not Chinese. They seemed thrilled.


Now I'm going to move on from the topic of being stared at and document our day today. This morning we hopped on a couple buses and headed off to the Fragrant Hills (the aforementioned park). The Fragrant Hills is a place built for emperors 900ish years ago. When they got tired of people and of being at home, they went and chilled at the Fragrant Hills. Just because they were powerful they got to have an entire mountain to themselves whenever they felt like it. Speaking of powerful people...I'll be watching the royal wedding tomorrow. Stinks for you people in America who have to get up at 5 am to watch it. It's 5 pm here...holler. Back to the mountain....it was beautiful! We opted for the bus ride rather than the chair lift. It was cheaper and seemed safer for a pregnant lady. I got on and realized we'd probably made a bad
decision. It was extremely bumpy...and on the side of a mountain...with an old beat-up van that seemed like its breaks could go out any minute. But we returned alive and in one piece. Well, 3 pieces. But you get the point. We came back home (via more buses) and had leftovers and watched Father of the Bride. Terrific movie.

Random thought. I don't know if anyone reading this reads the Pioneer Woman's blog. But I do. And I'm a fan of it. You should read it. But I have one problem with it...her dog. Yeah, it's cute. But it's just a dog. Every other blog post doesn't have to have at least 20 pictures of it. I want to read about your life. Your kids. Your food. Not your canine.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jet Lag, yo.

It's 12:29 am and I'm laying in bed wide awake listening to Adventures in Odessey. I made the mistake of sleeping for about an hour and half tonight. So I thought...why not blog?

Today we went to the pearl market. Let's just say....you will either absolutely hate it or absolutely love it. In my case it is the latter. Yes, arguing for 20 minutes over a pair of jeans that the lady flat out tells me she rips people off for does get a little annoying. But it's just so great. I wish people bargained in America. I got a pair of pumas for a little over 6 dollars. Granted, they're fake and will probably fall apart in a year, but it's still a good deal. And those bags that everyone has these days that are a solid color with the leather thing at the top that snaps? Yeah I got one of those for 3 and half dollars. I got my cousin Thomas a tie for a little over 2 dollars. And the list goes on.

After we went to the pearl market we went on a search for food that probably lasted 15 or 20 minutes. We went in the basement of a mall looking for a Subway but found a grocery store. But it was all good cause there was a bathroom full of squatties but had a couple toilets for handicapped people. No, we're not handicapped...yes, we used the toilets. We eventually settled for McDonald's which, to my surprise, was much like an American McDonald's. Except for the fact that some kind Americans who were there warned us that the table we chose to sit at had just been pooped on by someone's child. Chinese children wear split bottom pants so whenever they need to go, they just go...in the street. I'm imagining that this child in particular was sitting on the table and just had to go..so he went. But moving on...I got a chicken sandwhich that was better than they are in America, in my opinion. I got a Coke Zero which tasted not much like Coke Zero...it was sort of fruity. I attempted to order a cup of ice cream in Chinese...by myself. I ended up with a cup of water which I politely said "xie xie" (thank you) to and went back to Danielle to get further instructions for what to say. It worked the second time.

Then we took the Subway to some friends' house to babysit their kids while the parents went on a date. This is where a 4 year old showed me how to draw Chinese characters. I can count to 10 and say "I'm sorry" "thank you" and "subway station." He impressed me. Kids these days....so intelligent. Then after the kids went to bed I feel asleep on the couch by accident. And then fell asleep in the taxi on the way home. And now I'm regretting not forcing myself to stay awake.

Well it's time to attempt some rest. Probably unsuccessfully, though.

Oh and I apologize for the lack of pictures...I accidentally left my memory card in my computer today.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

So Long, America

It's 11:56 pm on Friday night. I'm leaving my house at 4:00 am Saturday morning. This gives me 4 hours and 4 minutes to write this blog posts, do my devotions, get ready for bed, and go to sleep. Somewhere in there I need to calm down. I've stopped shaking now. A few minutes ago I could hardly type. I said goodbye to some great friends tonight...which included Katelyn (who we affectionately call "the Murph") and Sarah (who I affectionately call "the Berr"). They cried. I talked to my great brother Jordan and his fantastic wife Ashley on the phone tonight...and I almost cried. I'm such a wimp. I'll be crying my eyes out tomorrow.

Joe is putting the latest Psalm 100 concert on my ipod which I will most likely listen to the entire trip. And will turn the volume up loud enough for the people sitting next to me to hear it. And sing so that anyone within a 20 foot radius can hear me sing about the great, great love of Jesus. Why not??...it's easter, after all.

Now that I have stopped to tell Dad goodnight, have a short conversation with Jeff on chat, and scroll through the facebook news feed one last time before I get too busy that I can't, it is 12:10 am. I now have less than 4 hours. I should go to bed. But I doubt I'll be able to sleep. So I'll keep rambling about random things that no one wants to read about except my mom.

If anyone is wondering (which I'm sure no one is) I am planning to eat zero plane food. Except for pretzels and peanuts. I don't know if you've ever been on a plane to China or not, but they like to serve you noodles on your flight. Noodles are bad enough, but it's only worse when they've been sitting in a plane for 7 hours, warmed in a microwave for a few seconds, given to you 753 minutes after they're heated, and served with a turnip and a spork (Brian Regan reference). But no worries...I will not starve. Although I will not be eating airline noodles, I will be eating lots and lots of junk and snack foods. Crackers, goldfish, yogurt-covered raisins, sweetarts, chocolate bars and much more thanks to Miss Carolyn. Whales and cashews thanks to mom. And a giant bag of skittles thanks to Jeff. I also have lots to keep me occupied...I have 5 books, a magazine, and a large selection of movies that will be on the back of the seat in front of me. I'm prepared for this long day of traveling. I just hope I get either a window seat (so I can lean on the window) or an aisle seat (so I don't have to climb over people to get the bathroom).

another good thing about this trip is that I have some sort of escort that will take me from one plane to the next and probably sit with me on my layovers so I don't get kidnapped. I'm hoping or a few benefits from this person:
1) That they'll drive me around on one of those nifty little golf cart things. 2) That I'll get to board first since I'm a child...and miss the part where everyone will get up and rush the gate because it's the last plane out of Vietnam (another Brian Regan reference). 3) That they'll carry my bags around for me. But this one only applies if number 1 doesn't work out.

Well it is now 12:24 and I have 3 hours and 36 minutes before we need to be pulling out of our driveway. Not long enough. It's goodbye for now. I'll hopefully update soon after I get to China. See ya later, America. Don't miss me too much.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm Gonna Miss the US of A

No doubt, I'm anticipating my trip to China. But, as you can imagine, there will be some things I will miss. Now of course I'm going to miss my family and friends, but there are also some other small details in my life that I will miss. I would like to make a list of these things. At the end of my trip I'll let you know how much I missed each thing. Here are only a few items I'm sad about leaving:

My room. I spend most of my life in my room. And I'll especially miss my walls. There's so many pictures on them that I love looking at all the time.
This picture of me and Rachel in my bathroom. I see it alot. And
I love it.
Great Value gallon jugs of juice. I live off of juice. And literally go days without water because this is all I drink. It's awful, I know....but I'm addicted.

My probiotics. I don't know if they help at all but they make me feel good about myself and feel healthy. But mom will take plenty while I'm gone for the both of us.

Birthday cake ice cream. Ah. To die for. And peppermint ice cream...yes, Food Lion is currently selling this....in April.

These orange crackers. My favorite.

Our cereal cabinets. So many delicious, sugar-filled options.

Our piano. I play it alot. It's not anything special but we've had this piano all my life and I love it.

These pictures of Joe in his room. I pass them every day and admire them.

This towel. Don't make fun. It's the best towel in this house and I'm in love with it.

Cheerwine. Best soft drink ever.

My Toy Story 3 poster. Such a good movie. I almost cried.


So these are just a few of my favorite things. But don't worry....the things I'm looking forward to FAR outweigh these things.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What should one take on a trip like this?


The preceding question has arisen quite a few times in my mind. I am currently seeking an answer. I would like to begin by saying that my dear sister-in-law Danielle sent me a great packing list of things I'll need. As fantastic as this may be, included on the packing list was "one week's worth of clothes." She says we can wash clothes. Clearly this woman lives on the opposite side of the world and does not know me as well as she thinks she might. I am not a light packer, in the least. I pack one week's worth of clothes when going away for a few nights, not for 10 weeks. I need options. I don't like being somewhere and having one outfit to wear and no other choices. I'm indecisive...I can't decide. (Raise your hand if you just started singing Justin Bieber in your head.) So as long as suitcase space/weight allows...I'll most likely be bringing a little more than one week's worth of clothes. But I'll try to keep it to a minimum of 2 weeks. Danielle, you just learned one new fact about your sister-in-law.

Now that I'm done telling you how indecisive I am, I will move on to tell you how un-observant I am.
Who in the world notices how much hair gel they use in 2 and half months? Not me. I've decided that I'll just guess and if I run out of something, I can live without it. It's not the end of the world if I use all of my conditioner in the first week.

Yesterday I took a trip to Walmart with mom for toiletries, etc. A few of the things I ended up with are as follows:
1 bottle of hair gel - enough to keep my hair controlled.
2 bottles of lotion - enough to moisturize my terribly dry skin.
1 stick of deodorant - hopefully enough to keep the b.o. away.
1 bottle of shampoo - probably not enough to keep my hair clean.
1 travel-sized toothpaste - for travelling.
1 bottle of vitamins - more than enough because half of the time I'll forget to take them anyways.
1 journal - enough to document my entire trip.
10 pens - I lose pens extremely easily.
1 notebook - because I'm supposed to prepare for the SAT while in China. lame, I know.
6 packs of gum - This is 90 sticks of gum...a little more than one a day. I never have gum. But I'm sort of addicted because of all the gum I take from my friends.
1 box of whales - there's no way I'd make it 10 weeks without a little processed food.
1 large bag of skittles - most likely not enough to keep my sanity...or enough to get on a sugar high when I'm exhausted because I listened to a baby scream all night.
And these are just a few items that will be in my suitcase with me. I'll let you know how the clothing situation goes.