Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Top Ten FAQ's About China

1. "How's China?"
China is awesome. I love my job and the people I work with. The city I live in is beautiful. I've got great friends. God is teaching me lots of things. Yep, I'm really happy. If you want to know more, feel free to ask something a little more specific.

2. "How's your Chinese?"
You would be embarrassed for me if you knew how little Chinese I actually knew. I'd like to say it's because I'm around English speakers all day but... I can get around town, shop, use very basic sentences. That's it. I have the goal to greatly improve in my language skills this year. 

3. "Have you gotten a Chinese boyfriend yet?"
*Blink* *Blink* No, as a matter of fact I have not. 
"No Ching Chang Chong in your life?"
No, I have not found me a...Ching Chang Chong.

4. "Do you miss home?"
Well, because I've moved so much in my life, I don't really have a home here in America. China is my home and I'm quite happy there. If you mean, "Do I miss America?", my answer would still have to be "no". I miss the people. Of course I miss the people. And I miss some of the conveniences like pre-made salads and sandwich meats but as a whole, I don't really feel homesick for America.

5. "When are you moving back to America?"
When I moved to China, it was with the intention of forever. I sold almost all of my earthly possessions and have no home to move back to. That being said, if God moved me back that'd be great. But at this point, I plan to stay overseas and specifically China for an undetermined amount of time.

6. "Have you eaten dog?"
No, I haven't eaten dog. I probably could find a restaurant in my city that sells it but I choose not to. The Chinese actually love dogs as pets. And they pamper them just like Americans do. I've seen dressed up and toe-nail painted dogs all over the place.

7. "What about cat?"
No, no cat. As far as I know, the Chinese do not eat cat. They eat donkey, horse, cow, lamb, probably some goat, pig, chicken, and a lot of tofu. But no cat.

8. "What do you do in your free time?"
Good question. I spend a lot of time at Starbucks, working and talking. I go see movies, eat out with friends, walk around town watching Chinese people watching me, shop at markets, read books, travel...mostly the same stuff I would do in America except with a twist. The movies have Chinese sub-titles, the food's mostly Asian, I'm stared at, I have to barter at the market and so on. Oh yes, and I watch ridiculous videos on Youtube like this one and this one.

9. "When the Chinese speak English, they can't say words with the "L" sound in them, can they? You know like in "The Christmas Story" when that family goes to the Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner and the Chinese waiters sing Deck the Halls and pronounce the "Fa la la la la la la la la" as "Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra".  Isn't that true?"
Um, well, they do have a hard time saying the "L" sounds's not really that noticeable. And most of the Chinese people that speak English work very hard to speak it correctly. I mean, there are at least 3 sounds in the Chinese language that I struggle with saying. And they are very gracious with my attempts. So...I guess I just don't even notice it when they struggle with some of our sounds.

10. Are you taller than all the Chinese people?
Well, it depends on what part of China I'm in. Anywhere west or south then yes, I'm probably a foot taller than most of them. But in my province and northern China, the people are much taller. I'm probably the average height of the men there. Which is nice. It was unexpected. I was sure that I would tower over everyone there. Yay!


Jeremy said...

This is one the things I dread about going back to America... you sound like you are dealing with it much better than I will.

p.s. I KNEW one of the "ridiculous videos" would be a Julian Smith video. I am happy to have made an impact on your life. : D

W. MacLeod said...

I'm dealing with most of these questions, and I haven't even lived there yet!

(By the way, #3 is one of the most common for me (except girlfriend, of course) and also the most annoying)

I hope that your time in the States continues to go well!!

Jen said...

I am slightly embarrassed by all the spelling and grammatical errors I just found. On my 5th read-through. I almost feel like I need to apologize and repost it so that people will read it again. And think I'm less stupid.

Jeremy, yes the Kool-aid video has changed my life. And just so you know, you've impacted me in other ways too. :)

Warren, the dog-eating thing and the Chinese boyfriend thing are the two that irked me the most before I left for China. They are still at the top of that list. Along with the mocking of the Chinese accent and squinting of the eyes. Arg.

Stephanie Melachrinos said...

Jen, you should be able to correct the typos within blogger. Just go to "Edit Posts" and click on this entry. When you're done, click "Post" and it will just update, saving all comments, etc. and still reflecting the original post date and url.

linda z said...

Jen I actually figured out how to do this, ok, Ross helped, but now that I have this link I will keep up, enjoyed your visit and felt the same way, friendships are forever
Linda Z

Jen said...

Yay! I'm so glad you found this. I'll try to do better at posting.

It was so good to spend time with you this summer.