Sunday, November 16, 2008

ni hao!

ni hao!

welcome to china

a special welcome to all the BATW visitors today. For those of you unfamiliar this is a site where bloggers from all over the world can be connected. Every week a different blogger is chosen to give a tour of their area. I am very pleased to be invited and hope you all enjoy.

I am from the U.S.A. (me - Texas, hubby - Illinois) and with my husband and four children have been living in South America for over 7 years. We arrived in China in August and are just settling into this amazing country and enjoying learning about the people here.

We are living in the Guangdong Province, in a city called Shenzhen ( we are actually in the Shekou area). It is located just across the border from Hong Kong. You can easily take a ferry or train to Hong Kong for a nice day trip. Although I have not had the opportunity to visit much of mainland China yet I have the impression that this city is not like others in China. There are many foreign investors in the city, everything from electronics to clothing, pharmaceutical to machinery. It has become a proving ground of sorts to show the world how China is opening up.

One of the difficulties we have found here is the attention we draw as westerners, especially our children, having four plus the fair skin. Often on just a trip to the grocery store we will be assailed with people touching their hair and taking photos - with themselves in the picture of course. Last week we went to dinner and were stopped just outside the door for the photo fest. I think I could make a pretty penny if I set up a booth.

In Shenzhen there are restaurants for every taste. We have Japanese restaurants, thai, italian, tex-mex, and of course various fast food places. I have really enjoyed the chinese food although it is different from what I what see in the U.S. My particular favorites are the celery which is cooked in what I think is a sort of chicken broth and lotus root which is not only beautiful to see but tasty too. Martin Yan also has a cooking school here and gives classes.

Let's talk a little about language. Upon learning I was moving here I started to look into some mandarin. Finding that the words were in the same order as english i took heart, as this has been difficult for me in spanish. There are no singular and plural nouns, no gender specific nouns. You do not need to worry about past or present, active or passive, or pronouns. Wow, this sounded great. The pronunciation is so difficult and one word can have many meanings just by changing the inflection of your voice. so you must memorize where all the correct inflections go. How do you have a language with no alphabet! I see long nights of studying with headphones clamped to my head. àn bù jiù ban - one step at a time.

As I have the opportunity to travel more here I will share those experiences with you, so I hope you will all visit often. I leave you with some photos

visiting a temple

view from temple hike

hong kong haze

chinese cemetery from bus window

a favorite italian restaurant

a local shop