Friday, September 30, 2005


Well hello again and a lot has happened since I last wrote. In fact, five days from now I will have a new home in China!!!

A couple of weeks ago I went for dinner with a few friends in the city. The girl I rode to town with (Zerlina) had an appointment so she gave me directions to a DVD store where I could shop until she was finished. I never made it to the DVD store because I found a great furniture shop on the way called DARA. They have the most beautiful pieces and I found a couch that was the most comfortable thing I had sat on since I came to China! I wanted it so badly but had a dilemma – it wouldn’t fit in the two bedroom apartment I was living in at Capital Paradise. I had seen a three bedroom apartment but it wasn’t very nice and I knew that the following year I wanted to live in the city. Would they let me have my own furniture there or would it be furnished? Where was I going to live? What should I do – I really wanted that couch. And as I don’t know how long I will live here in Beijing I started thinking – I need to get into this city as soon as possible.

After dinner that night my thoughts were confirmed. All three friends hopped in their cars to go home and they pointed me in the direction of a good place to catch a cab. I was too embarrassed to tell them I had never been in a taxi by myself before, much less in a foreign city of 13 million people. Thirty minutes later it had started to rain and I was still standing on that corner. Most of the cabs wouldn’t stop for me and when they would they wouldn’t take me when they found out how far out of the city I needed to go. An older man finally came over to me, grabbed my arm and walked me down the street a bit. He called a cab over when he saw one, said something to the man and pushed me in the car. I had to rely on my own directions and minimal Chinese to direct the driver all the way back out to Shunyi. But this turned out to be the best experience I had had in China so far. I prayed through the whole of it and was never scared or worried. Wet and tired – yes, but I knew one way or another I would make it home that night. And all of a sudden I remembered why I had moved here in the first place – for the challenge and the culture and all of those new experiences and opportunities that are just waiting to be discovered. I made myself sleep on my decision to move into the city but the next morning I woke up completely excited and prayed – if you don’t want this for me God – just take it from me and make the move too hard. Well, I loved the first apartment I saw, the school agreed to the place, I had an offer that day from a friend who said she and her daughter would help me move and someone has already offered to drive me to school in the mornings. This is meant to be!!! And I did it all in less than a week. Don’t get me wrong – I am very nervous as I know my “easy” days in China are over. Life on the compound is just as easy if not easier than life in Beaufort. But I am looking forward to it and I will be moving this Thursday!!! I will be living in an apartment complex called Lian Bao and it is in a section of the city called Sanlitun. It is right in the middle of all the action – tons of restaurants, clubs, shops, the silk market – and I can see inside the stadium from my bedroom window. I will be on the 17th floor! So for those of you coming to visit, you will now have a much more exciting place to stay!!!

Until the move, I am making the most of “country” living. Riding my bike to school everyday and spending some time in the little village here when I can. It is the harvest season now so half of our roads are covered in corn – I keep forgetting my camera. It is funny to see all that corn drying out. I have no idea what they are going to do with it – still trying to figure that one out.

We only had three days of school this week because there was a water leak in a pipe out here in Shunyi so we were without water Monday and Tuesday. No water – no school – and these things take a long time to fix in China. On Monday I got tons of school work done and on Tuesday we didn’t get the call for no school until 6:30 so we all went to an “American” diner called Steak and Eggs for breakfast. Did some shopping for my new apartment and then came home that night, fixed a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese and watched Dukes of Hazard. The DVD’s are fun here because as soon as they are on the movies at home – they are on DVD here. Completely legal of course!!! ;-)

I think that’s all for now folks – I miss the US, I miss football and I miss all of you! Hope you are well – I’m looking everyday for a ticket home for Christmas – I’ll let you know if I find one!!!


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