Half a year in..

It’s hard for us to believe we’ve been living in China for half a year now! We departed North America on February 15, six months ago, landing in Shanghai the next day. Wow! Already it’s been more of an adventure than we ever could have anticipated. Some things have definitely become easier, like communication. Others have become more challenging, such as negotiating cultural differences that we are just now becoming attuned to. JM has run into ‘losing face’ situations on more than one occasion, and it doesn’t get much easier to anticipate where these sorts of cultural sensitivities lie.

Staying on a healthy diet is another area we continue to be vigilant for. Besides the ever present selection of fried foods, we’re getting more keen on likely sources of food sickness. Twice down is enough for us.

Studying Chinese language so earnestly is starting to really show in subconscious ways. English pronunciation is unquestionably becoming more difficult. Today’s blunders: saying “Rake Placid” for “Lake Placid” and “bloshomming” for “blossoming.” We’re both making such silly mistakes in our English speech with such regularity that we can’t keep kidding ourselves that it’s just fatigue! We’ll have some reverse studying to do when we get back to the USA. Bring out your Dr. Seuss books for us!

China continues to enthrall us, and in this Olympic season we’re seeing more and more how patriotic the Chinese people are for their country and its ambitions. Speaking to a high school student about the Olympics, she remarked “China is not very good at swimming right now, but it will be soon.” There’s a fair amount of hubris in the air that China is on the verge of entering into a leading position for the 21st century world. For those of us on the ground here, we see the many areas in which there’s still a long way to go, but also the many areas in which they’ve undoubtedly taken the lead. It’s an exciting time to be here, and we’re very thankful to be given the opportunity to see it all firsthand.

We still miss everyone at home, and are always happy to hear from you. We’re looking forward to seeing where this next six months takes us.


2 Responses to “Half a year in..”

  1. 1 Chris Burgwald August 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    “but also the many areas in which they’ve undoubtedly taken the lead”

    Any examples come readily to mind?

  2. 2 coffeegopher August 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    It is so funny that you would post this because I was just thinking about you all today. I was in Liz’s old office and came across a post-it note in her handwriting. I immediately stopped what I was doing and took a minute to relish in my Liz Days! How I miss them! I really can’t believe you have been gone that long.

    Congrats on your 6 month mark!

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August 2008
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