4.11.2013

Living the China life

Because of the incredibly high demand for posts, Amanda and I are going to try and update on a daily basis. This is not always easy because we are quite the busy-bodies here in China, but our fans (moms) need us!
So it didn't take long to get back in the swing of things after our vacation. We lounged around all day Sunday and hopped right back into teaching on Monday.
On Tuesday it was our dear friend and fellow teacher Konner's birthday, we decided to celebrate China style. We all hopped on a bus and went into the city, where we went into a giant 5 story mall up to the 4th floor. From there we entered a very elegantly dressed lounge with  music muffled in the background. That's right we went to Karaoke! I couldn't believe how huge this "karaoke complex" was. There were tons of rooms with "tipsy" asians singing some of the greatest renditions of Adele and Lady Gaga songs my ears have ever heard.
It was awesome. We had a group of twenty so we had a large room and I wish I could say there was some rhyme or reason to this beautiful musical madness but basically you pick songs and just let the music fly thru two provided microphones (amongst songs sung there was Florence + the machine, FUN, Solja Boy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nena, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Brittany Spears, Michael Buble (bleh), so on and so forth).
 My personal favorite was when our Chinese coordinators would sing because they can appear reserved at times but when you hand them that microphone they become Adele or should I say "Aderr"… All in all it was a wonderful experience and I am sure we will go back at least once more to sing our hearts out.
Aside from that little party our week has been pretty normal. We have been very busy with teaching and trying to arrange for travel to Beijing in a few weeks. I know it seems like we go on a lot of vacations and the reason why is because we do and it is awesome but I will say it has become a bit exhausting planning out flights and trains and hostels and gathering money from the other teachers. But really who am I kidding, I love doing it so really life is good.

We did meet an interesting lady yesterday at the supermarket. Amanda, Chloe and I ran to the market to grab a few things, after a short time of shopping there this sweet asian woman kept smiling at us. This is not that weird to us because a lot of people stare at us and occasionally they are smiling so we thought nothing of it. However, when we were out waiting for the bus a car pulled up and honked at us, the window rolled down and that nice lady was yelling to us.
We walked over and she introduced herself as Alice and told us to get in and she would give us a ride home (we were at the market that is a mile from our apartments). We didn't even hesitate and hopped in her car and she just talked our ears off. We found out her husband was German and she works for a shoe company based in Italy, she was the biggest sweetheart.
She asked if we wanted to see her house so she could have us over for dinner sometime which we gladly accepted so she pulled into a gated community and pulled up to a very nice house. We walked in a got a mini tour and noticed something that we would not normally see on a Chinese nationals wall. Pictures of Christ as well as Crucifix's. It didn't take us long to discover that she was christian and had been converted while working in Iceland.
She did share with us the story of her conversion which I feel compelled to share with you. She was in a small village of only roughly 236 inhabitants and she discovered they had 3 churches among them. All presumably catholic, and she asked about them and began learning a little bit about other beliefs. She even explained that when her italian coworkers would say 'Happy Easter' and 'Merry Christmas', but she didn't know what those were and that they were celebrating Christ. Her story was a bit jumbled and in broken English but we were getting the gist.
She explained how she first felt confirmation of the Lord and she described it as so: "He began supernatural talking with me and I didn't know who it was, so I figure it was the American FBI talking to me in my head!" We thought this was so awesome. She later explained that she asked a co-worker what this voice was and he explained it was God.
It was quite the experience meeting Alice and I am sure we will meet her again. It is always interesting to meet someone with different beliefs than you, especially when their beliefs are different than most of the people in their entire country. So that was another cool story from this week.

I act as if our weeks just creep by as if we are not in a foreign country, but I am constantly realizing how much Amanda and I are growing here in China. Our relationship is strengthening and we are just growing as people every day in every way. It is such an incredible experience and I am so thankful for it! Welp thats the update from these two hooligans! We love you all we hope you are staying happy, healthy and positive.

Love the Smiths

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