Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Festival in the Country of Lu

Overcrowded trains during the Chinese New Year are standard fare for most Chinese returning home for this most important traditional holiday. Thankfully, I had a seat for the 9+ hour overnight train, but not everyone was so comfortable, as you can see from the aisles full of people who could only get a standing ticket. And, let me tell you, there were people standing everywhere! There was a guy standing between my legs and the legs of the guy across from me! There was another guy standing on my right! If I wanted to stretch my legs, I had to weave them through the legs of the people standing/sitting in front of me! You know that whole "Americans like their personal space" idea, well, yeah, you better much forget all about that! It wasn't what I would call a comfortable ride, but it could have been a lot worse. Some of the people still had several hours to stand as many of them were headed to the Shanghai and Hangzhou area further to the south.Once in the city of Taian, in the Shandong Province, the site of the famous and revered Mount Tai, I had a few hours to walk around the city while I waited for my friend to come and take me back to his hometown a couple of hours away by bus. Here is a scene from a street market. With meat prices so high throughout the year here in China, the Spring Festival is a time to splurge and get all the things the family likes to eat but don't usually get to the rest of the year.This guy made some of the most delicious salty green onion hotcakes (minus the egg) I've ever had in China! I bought one that day. Then, on my way back to Beijing, I had to get two more! Wow! I might just have to make a trip back there to satisfy a craving! Yum! My mouth is watering now!
The festive mood and decorations brought life to the streets as everyone was getting ready for the lunar new year. One of the traditions is to paste blessings written on red paper on the door posts of all the houses. Somewhat reminiscent of the Israelites putting the blood on their door posts in Exodus...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Olympic Anticipation!

YESSS!!! I'm super excited!!! Check it out!!!
"We would like to thank you for your interest in applying for Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games tickets. We are pleased to confirm that you have secured your place at some or all of your selected sessions after a random selection on the over subscribed sessions. You will be charged, through your pre-selected payment method, only for the price of tickets that are allocated to you. Please make sure that you have sufficient funds in your specified account to pay for your ticket order.
You have been allocated the following tickets..."

Woooo!!! Hoooo!!! I'm going to the Olympics!!!!!! YEAH!!!

Life in the City

Here there be foreigners!
All the lonely people, where do they all come from...where do they all belong...
The Golden Arches are everywhere, but I bet these ladies have never seen the movie "Super Size Me"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

who are my heros?

the disabled man who works at the mall picking up trash and gets laughed at by people passing by... the single mom working multiple jobs and barely getting by to provide for her kids... the alcoholic who goes to his first support group meeting... the divorced father working extra jobs to pay child support... the pastor who got caught red-handed but is repentant and trying to start over again... the grandmother raising her grandkids... the husband who makes dinner for his wife after she's had a long day taking care of the kids... the recovering drug addict who struggles with all of his heart to stay clean... the wife who prays for her husband even though he treats her like trash... the maimed child who begs daily on the streets for money he has to give to a ruthless crook who cut off his hand to make him look more pitiful... people who try to keep on going, even if they've been marginalized, made mistakes, been a victim, or are in a less-than-ideal situation in life... JESUS, because He knows what it means to suffer, and because He loves us all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Second Try

Well, since my application to the 2008 Olympics' ticket lottery was rejected the first time (as seen in the letter above), this last week, as a Christmas present to myself, I tried again to apply for some tickets to the international games. Now I just have to wait a few months before I find out if I get tickets or not. If so, I get to enjoy the event all of China is eagerly anticipating; if not...who knows, maybe I'll just chuck the Olympics and go on vacation!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Qing Ming Riverside

At the end of last month, I had the wonderful experience of attending an interpretive dance performance of the ancient Chinese painting 清明上河图(Qing Ming Shang He Tu) put on by the Hong Kong Dance Company. My friend Jerry and I went and had a great time watching the artistic creation of the painter Zhang Zeduan's masterpiece come to life on the stage. I hope you enjoy a few scenes from the program bill (and my friend's mobile phone camera) to spark your imagination of this dance extravaganza!Check out the link to see one of my favorite paintings from Chinese art history!

Community Horizons

This semester, I had the privilege of beginning to learn Chinese sign language. It is really neat to learn about the community of the hearing impaired in China, make friends in their subculture, and broaden my community horizons! Here are some images from the last class when students from the special education school came over to help us with our sign language. It was really fun to be able to converse with students in their own heart language! Some of these students had never before met a foreigner, so it was a great honor and privilege to be able to have acquaintance with them and learn about their worlds! May God bless the hearing impaired community in China and around the globe!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rural Beijing

Last month, I went on a church devotional camp at a rural village in the outskirts of Beijing. Here's a glimpse at some of the scenery.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Olympic Disappointment

Yeah, so, my first week of classes, I got a notice from the Olympic ticket name was not selected in the lottery of ticket buyers...I'll have to try again next month when they reopen the lottery for ticket buyers. (Since there are so many people wanting to purchase tickets for these historic Olympic games here in Beijing, they enter all potential ticket buyer names in a random at least I can say I tried!)

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" I guess that's what the olympiads have to remember too...