Friday, March 27, 2009

Empathy for Zoo Animals

So sometimes I feel a bit like a zoo animal whose only purpose in life is to be stared at. I have gotten better at ignoring stares, but sometimes it is just out of hand! For example, a couple days ago Sam and I went to the supermarket (as most normal people do), and while Sam was upstairs getting some stuff, I stayed on the first floor to buy fruit and veggies (weird, I know). There was a man who worked there sweeping floors who was totally enthralled by me. He would stand and stare as I picked out my produce. And it wasn't like he stood and stared from afar off -- he stood about 3 feet from me and moved when I moved. So as I picked my bananas, he was there. I moved to get potatoes, he was there. He never spoke to me although I asked what was up once (he didn't answer, just kept staring). When Sam returned, the man was not deterred -- just kept watching me. Its not like he was creepy or anything, I just think he thought I was quite the novelty -- such a strange creature in his grocery section!! We are told here frequently that meeting us is "fate" (the guy who cut my hair was sure it was fate; the man at a table near ours thought it was fate that we sat near each other (he then wanted to buy us a beer, and did, even though we told him we would not drink it); cab drivers, other passengers on the bus, etc. all feel meeting us is truly a providential experience!). I suppose it could be fate, but I don't really see the "fate" part from our end -- to us they are just more curious Chinese people who feel the cosmos intended us to somehow be a part of their destiny!

Friday, March 20, 2009


So, the war with our bed has a new element these days. Yes, it is still broken; and yes, we recently added another pad under my half of the bed (my birthing hips are starting to ache from the cement slab people here consider a bed). But these are just minor battles amid the war. The new tragedy of war is our mosquito net. After being eaten alive for a few weeks (by the way, the mosquitoes only eat me! I wake up with 16 new bites and Sam is unmarred like an angel. I guess I just taste better, which really is not a compliment.) Anyway, after being eaten alive, we decided to purchase a mosquito net. It has tent polls and zippers on all sides and everything; it feels like a fort sitting nicely over our entire bed. The problem comes at night. See, in order to keep the little killers out, we are also sort of trapped in. If I have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom (which happens at least once every night) I have to first orient myself enough to figure out why I cannot get out. Then I must find and unzip the zippers on my side of the tent and squeeze my rotund (we won't say fat), ungraceful, pregnant body out of the little window. Upon returning, I have to reverse the whole process. Unfortunately, the zippers wake up whichever of us did not get up in the first place. Sam is very patient with my frequent zipping. We cannot even reach over and get a drink of water without first unlocking our cage! My greatest fear is that perhaps our weapon will be used against us one night. What if, by chance, a mosquito sneaks in with us?! The little blood sucker will be trapped in Paradise with two helpless morsels to suck blood from all night. If it happens, I just hope he dies from gluttony!

(Notice the bed proped up with my NCLEX Study books)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wax People

Sam and I had the opportunity to visit the Shenzhen Museum on a company fieldtrip. It was interesting to learn more about the city we live in (as much as we could from looking at picutures and diagrams, that is, because we are both still pretty much illiterate). The museum had a nice array of life-sized wax figures depicting various historical events. Anyway, at one point we were standing watching a short video clip when a little boy (about 4 or 5 years old) runs up to us and yells to his dad, "Are they real or fake?!?" He started to hold out his little finger to poke Sam. At this point we started to move, and the little boy about fell out of his skin with shock that we were, in fact, real! Come to think of it, the only other foreigners we saw in the museum that day were wax British soldiers shown invading China. I guess I can see where he got confused :)

See, I could be a wax person :)

Monday, March 2, 2009


Sam and I comitted a murder today. Well, actually, I was the one who actually did the dirty deed, but Sam disposed of the corpse. Place: our bedroom. Weapon: my shoe. Victim: a huge cockroach! This is the first (and I hope last) sighting of the dread creatures in our abode. Maybe the example we made of him will instill enough fear and dread in the others that they will not rear their ugly heads here again. I doubt it. That tactic may work in China, but I doubt it works among the insect-kind. Well, I guess we will see. I hope I don't have to kill again, because with the size of that sucker it really did feel more like homicide than merely squashing a bug...