Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tokyo

Got back last night from a 3 day trip to Tokyo. I was flown there for a conference but I flew hubs along with me for his birthday. We had a great time and I will be sure to post all about it this week! For now...I am going to eat dinner, relax and prepare for the second term of my MA (first term full time...scary) and another week of work. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Congratulations!

Congratulations to my cousin Molly! She just got engaged! I wish I could be home right now so I could give her a huge hug and a kiss but that will just have to wait another 8 weeks. Now I am even more excited to meet her fiance in December! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Can Breathe

I finally got my masks. I have been waiting for weeks and they are finally here. The winters here are not only bitterly cold, they are hazardous to your lungs. The pollution is definitely at its worst in the winters with coal as the major heat producer here. You can literally taste the coal in your mouth and feel it in your lungs and stomach. It sounds as nice as it is in reality.




Granted, they are a little silly looking but they help so much. I feel so much better when I go out on nasty days now. Wish it had been here on Thursday...I now have a killer head-cold because of the hazardous air quality here. Anyway, when it gets cold it will hope my face stay warm. Yay! For anyone in Beijing, the pollution masks are from I Can Breathe and are available in several countries. The US, Hong Kong and Australia to name a few. I highly recommend them!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Missing home

Gus
Nothing like your dog's first snow...in March...in Georgia
All day at work today I was thinking back to last Fall. Outside of our condo we had a drainage ditch that would get filled to the brim (5-6 feet deep) with leaves. So every once in a while, Will and I would go outside and get our exercise raking leaves. Gus would run around crazy ruining our piles like a little kid and finding there dirtiest patch of running water or mud and role around in it until he was content. I love that dog so much and I have been really missing him lately. When we moved to China I gave him to a friend of mine whose mom is his owner now. Having him for the year and a half that I did was such a fun time for me. He was such a joy to play with and was so protective of me.

This was my pup when he was brand new
Me and Gus last Fall on our hiking trip...that water was freezing!
I have been missing home this season.
I miss the trees changing colors 
I miss taking fresh air and changing seasons for granted
I miss the smell of wood burning, I miss finally being able to sit in my car with black leather seats without burning my legs (really I miss having a car!) I miss my family and my friends 
One of my all time favorite pictures 
Me and my sister 
I have been feeling sentimental and I wanted to share some past pictures. Hopefully soon I will have some more pictures of this Fall to post...but so far this Fall, this is my life:

work--> work out--> sleep--> repeat x5 --> work on school--> relax  

My sister reminded me that we need to be taking and posting more pictures for people back home...message received. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Fall!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Banner

So, as I hope you can notice (without me pointing it out) I have a new banner. It's not hard to tell who made it (me), due to its simpleness, but I had a lot of fun making it. I got the idea from Sarah at Clover Lane. I love her blog, and y'all should definitely check it out. So, give me your feedback...do you like it or should I go back to the drawing board?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Banana People and Lung Cancer

My title and the two things it describes are not connected but they are both interesting. One in a funny way and one in a "how the f*** did they let this happen" way. I was at my weekly Mandarin tutoring session with my amazing teacher Vivian (if anyone is ever in the market for a tutor in Beijing, please let me know) when I saw THE cutest little mixed toddler. Chinese and Caucasian babies combine the cutest features. This child in particular had beautiful black hair, light colored skin (which every Chinese person woman wants) and pretty blue eyes. Plus she had on the most adorable dress and was running around like a crazed maniac...which I thought was hilarious. Her mother...not so much.

Anyway, I pointed out this little cutie to Vivian and she asked if I knew what Chinese people called Chinese Americans. I said no because I had no idea...Race traitors? I hoped we were not about to venture into an uncomfortable conversation...as I have apparently been falling into those lately. She revealed that they were referred to as Banana People...because they are yellow on the outside and white on the inside. I thought this was hilarious and just had to share.

As for the lung cancer...where to start with the Beijing air? It is pretty well accepted fact that it is best, health wise, for expats to live in Beijing for 3 years or less. After 3 years, permanent damage is done to your lungs...lovely I know. When we first arrived I was curious about what Chinese people thought about their air quality. Nothing...it turns out. Most days I hear it referred to as FOG...yes, the water in the air type of fog. I laugh when I hear this and am quick to correct. FOG is close...but the word is SMOG. Since the government could do something about it and chooses not to (ie. before and during the Olympics they had the longest streak of good air in quite some time) its best not to get to hot and bothered over it.

My point...this week at a friend's birthday party we were told a story about 2 avid runner expats that were here last year. After 9 months of continuing their outdoor running practices here, apparently with no mask on (extremely big mistake), they were both diagnosed with lung cancer. Only in Beijing, are 2 runners rewarded for their hard work with lung cancer...LUNG: the very organ it is supposed to strengthen.

Back to studying now. Hope you like my new background! I love Halloween!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blog makeover

Two postings in one day! I plan to use my week holiday wisely. I plan to blog, write papers and shop.

So, my blog needs a makeover. I hate the background and it looks blah, so I am asking for referrals for blog designers.

FYI, I am JEALOUS of:
Brittany
Lindsay
Jessica
Kelly
Barbara
Bridget

On a different note, while picking out fabric for our new bedroom curtains, I found these cute shoes:
Adorable! I paid $7 for them!

Mugging

Now that I have enticed you with the title lets review last weekend. So much fun stuff happened its hard to know where to start...but here's a thought...my husband was drugged and mugged. Catchy, I agree. He prefers Roofied and rolled, but this is my retelling of the story so I will choose the catchiest way to describe being drugged and stolen from. Without further a due...last weekend:

Hubs made a new Chinese friend a few weeks back who was having a birthday celebration last weekend. Friend is married, but wanted to have a men only birthday party (should have been the first clue that the night was doomed). So at 10ish, hubs left to go to the bar to meet the birthday crew. They were hanging out and having a good time until midnight when everyone wanted to go home.

-A little back story knowledge insert here: Chinese people haven't been experiencing bars for decades like us pros in the West, so they tend to go out, have a couple of drinks and head home an 1.5-2 hours later. That is NOT how my husband (Irish descendant) parties.

During the 2 hours that everyone was there, hubs made some new Chinese friends. So when his friends left, he hung out with the new friends...that's the last thing he remembers. Then I called him at 2 and he could barely talk.

-More back story: He had 4 margaritas...this is the same husband who I have seen down half a bottle of liquor and still be able to have a functioning conversation.

He came home at 7am the next morning. I had gotten literally 20 minutes of sleep. I was PISSED. Until he told me that he woke up on the deck of a restaurant with no phone and no money.

Moral of the story: In an all Chinese bar, they may not like laowai (foreigner)

Scariest thing that ever happened to you in a foreign country?