Q and A

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My wonderful 10-year old nephew wrote to me on my birthday and he had some very good questions and observations.  I wrote him a personal reply but thought I would address some of the things he mentioned. It’s always interesting to get the perspective of a child. God bless them for their honesty! I love and miss you R 🙂

How is China? China is overwhelming, different, hot, fascinating, far from family, colorful, busy, over the top, HUGE, ancient, modern, and I am loving every minute of it. The language is hard to learn. I’m saying the right words, just not with one of the 4 correct tones and it makes all the difference. Gotta learn the tones. Nothing makes me happier than when I say something in Mandarin to Ben and gives me a big grin and “Hen hao or hao de.” Translation – Very good or good one. The people in Guangzhou could not be friendlier. I just wish I could give them hugs!

Is it hard not eating meat? We have not become vegetarians. We just don’t eat as  much meat. We could never be vegetarians because we love juicy burgers. Surprisingly enough, they are easy to come by in GZ. The one thing we really craved while living in Switzerland was a good burger or steak. That’s no problem here. But we certainly don’t eat meat very often and I don’t miss it. It’s healthier and I think it has contributed to us losing weight. Our  intestinal systems like it better too I believe 😉

My dad thinks people in China eat dog. Is that true? I’ll be honest and tell you that I told him that I didn’t think so. I know Chinese have a reputation of eating anything but I thought that was in the past. I wrote that answer to him yesterday morning  and when I picked up my China Daily paper in my mailbox in the  afternoon one of the leading stories was how a rescue agency paid 13,000 USD to save 800 dogs that were on their way to restaurants in southern China!!! Ugh! There was also a rescue of 520 dogs in April so it’s not a fluke. I guess they do eat dogs. What can I say? I’m sure that if the Chinese came to America and saw what we ate and the quantity they would be repulsed. What I’m curious about is does it say “dog” on the menu? I need to talk to Ben about this situation, I’ll get back to you.

You’re like a show star getting driven everywhere. Yep and I  feel rather lazy. But I like that I can wear shoes that hurt my feet. I’m not walking far enough to get any blisters! Fortunately, I run. If I didn’t run and walk the 6 flights of stairs my muscles would atrophy. One of the things I thought I would miss the most was driving and I didn’t think I would like having a driver (although I really, really miss my car).  I thought I would be giving up my freedom and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to add/cancel/change plans. For example: sometimes you decide you’re going to make pumpkin cookies and don’t have raisins so you need to run to the store. I didn’t think I’d be comfortable calling a driver to have him make my pumpkin cookie dream come true. Well, it can. This didn’t actually happen. Well, it did. I just didn’t call Ben to take me to Metro to get raisins. But I could have and he would have gladly taken me. So it yes it does feel like I’m a show star.

Did I know that A (my 5-year old niece) got glasses? No I didn’t and I can’t wait to see how adorable she looks in person!

Thanks to R for supplying me with today’s post subject!

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About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

4 responses »

  1. Karen – We enjoyed reading your post – and Ryan says he feels like a show star since he was mentioned in your post! Now I definitely think you might not want to come home to visit because if you come stay with us I am not giving you a massage, I will tell you to drive yourself to WalMart for raisins for your pumpkin cookies, and I will probably make you walk long enough that you will need to wear comfortable shoes. I will, however hug you whenever you like!

  2. Looks like your 10 year old nephew and I think alike and ask the same kind of stuff! I am sooo disappointed about the dog situation. I had heard the “rumor” also, but always thought it was an “old wives tale” of sorts. You really see “dog” on menus? Do many people have pets? Is dog or cat food easy to come by at the grocery store or is there a street market for pet supplies??!!

    • I keep forgetting to ask Ben and my Chinese teacher about dog meat. I’ll find out how common it is. I have not seen dog on the menu but up until a few days ago I didn’t know the Mandarin word for dog. I looked it up after reading the article so I can be a more informed restaurant patron. I’ll answer your other questions in a Q&A next week. I love it when you ask questions because it makes it so easy for me to have a subject for a post. Thanks neighbor.

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