Saturday, December 1, 2007

foreigners beware

yes, it's been a while since i've updated my blog, but it's a little annoying when you can't see it after you're done typing it up. but i have to share a good story with the internet world.

this week we met my cousin michelle and her husband dan in beijing. it was a good time with them :) we decided to eat some chinese food in a little alleyway off of wangfujing (which is a major tourist area). we figured if we went off the main drag, we could find a little restaurant to eat at that would be cheaper. i walked into a hole in the wall restaurant to look at the food that people were eating and it looked pretty good, and i figured it would be pretty cheap too. so we asked for a menu and started to order. the lady was telling us some outrageous prices for food, so we walked out. 28 yuan for tomatoes and eggs? really people, that's ridiculous.

so we went to the restaurant next door. we walked in and they handed rach an english menu. so then i asked for a chinese one. you know the look when people get when they know they've done something wrong, the deer in the headlights look? well, she had it. so i pressed the issue more and insisted on the chinese menu, finally she caved and gave it to me. we quickly compared the two and noticed a price difference between the menus. hmmmmmm, some shady business going on here. we were hungry so we stayed. they still tried to give us the english menu, even after we knew they were different. so i had to tell them again that we wanted the chinese menu with the chinese prices.

oh, they are going to have a heyday when the olympics come! watch out white faces :)

here's some picts from our latest trip to beijing.


Friday, October 19, 2007

chirp chirp chirp

this morning i awoke to the wonderful sound of a bird chirping loudly. it was so loud and real sounding that i thought rach had bought one of those fancy alarm clocks from sharper image. you know the ones with all the sounds of nature, the birds chirping, and even the water flowing noise (the one that makes you have to pee). well, i realized that the sound of the chirping and fluttering was too loud and real to be coming from the outside. so i ventured into the living room and behold, i saw a tiny bird flying around the window. what the heck? how did this bird get in our house? i still don't know. but i trapped it behind the curtains to contain in the window, but it didn't fly outside. instead it flew behind the slats that encase the radiator. so i called seth and had him come down to help me. we took off the wooden slats that covered the radiator and poked around with sticks and the bird finally flew out and then out the window. he was a creepy little guy. i was scared he was going to peck my eyes out.

"good thing you can't get diseases from birds" (quote from michael scott on "the office")

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

unblocked :)

fantastic news from the motherland! currently blogspot is unblocked :) don't know how long this will last, so i'll have to squeeze a post in.

every day (mon-friday) the sophomores are required to write 6 english words on a tiny chalkboard. everyday the words are different, so they have to change them every night. in the morning, someone checks all of them and corrects them if there are any mistakes. last week i asked one student if i could write his words for him, just as a joke. he decided to leave my words up on the chalkboard so that they could be reviewed. good news, i passed :) i was a little nervous because i definitely do not possess the chinese style of written english. yes, even though i'm chinese, i just don't got it. but i did get a nice check mark (i think the checker knew that i wrote the words and didn't want the foreign teacher to lose face).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

back on the attack

here's the skinny, i'm still being blocked by my friends being the great internet firewall, so it keeps me from updating so frequently. also, our computer, took a pooper and decided to crash 3 weeks ago. we just got it back and we have a brand new hard drive :) oh yeah, which means all the stuff on the old hard drive is gone :( so sad.

every year the freshman have to go through military training on all the campuses across china. they learn to march around, it pretty exciting stuff (not really, but if there is a person behind the firewall reading this, i want them to know that i endorse the training). so for 3 weeks the freshman learn how to march around and they get pretty good at it. this year the teachers got to join them and march around the track with the students from their department. i learned that i can't march worth beans. i have my own beat that goes on in my melon and it's not the same as everyone else. the teachers around me tried to help me and tell me what foot step when, but it didn't help (it also didn't help that they told me in chinese). so that was our latest great adventure here. i'm going to stick to napping, that's what i'm a professional at, so why mess with it.

on another note, the weather has taken a turn for the cold, what a bummer!

this is a video that sonny made, it's pretty funny:

Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

up and running (kinda)

we've arrived back in siping and classes have begun. it's good to be home :) although our bags are still unpacked and things are everywhere. we just got internet hooked up last night.

the great china firewall has blocked half of this blog, i can post stuff, but i can't see it. so if things look shady, sorry. i can't see it, so too bad.

for class this week, i gave them a quiz on me (i know, pretty humble). one question asked them what happened to my chin this summer. one girl wrote that my chin is "more beautiful than before". what? was my chin not beautiful before? i'm so sad :(

Thursday, August 23, 2007

we made it :)

made it to china, sitting in the stinkin' hot and humid weather of beijing and trying to stay awake from jet-lag. i forgot to start smoking in the states before i got back to beijing, so that my lungs would be ready for the pollution.

samantha has her day and night all jacked up. why can't she sleep when i want to sleep?

peace out from the motherland!

Friday, August 10, 2007

hanging in grand rapids

we're hanging in grand rapids, mi. now. it's been a good time to see a lot of old friends. it's too bad we only see them once a year now :(

austin was sweet, we took samantha to the sweet SPAM museum, rach had some spam, so that means samantha had some too. mmmmm, delicious spam, so good in your tummy!

here's a salute to my buddy greg walker: my friend greg is a big city lawyer that likes to talk it up all the time, we call him "all talk walk". well lets just say he likes to jibber jabber about everything. he went on a trip to portugal in college with our friend sherri, while they were there he bought this metal ship. ever since the trip to portugal, greg makes it known to sherri that he has this ship that sherri will never be able to have. 9 years ago, sherri and i were at greg's parent's house and i stole the ship and gave it to sherri. sherri has had the ship for 9 years, everytime we see greg, we bring up the ship and he yaps about how he has the ship and sherri didn't get it. the whole time we know the ship is collecting dust at sherri's house, but "all talk" keeps yapping away about how he was the winner of the ship. so when we were in chicago, sherri gave greg the ship back. poor guy ... too bad this won't stop him from talking. too bad he also doesn't know that i stole something from his house this time and i'm going to wait another 9 years to give it back to him. sucker!!!!

here's greg, sherri, me and the ship:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

it's been a long time ...

yes, faithful blog readers (the 3 of you), it's been quite a while. but now i'm free and can blog away.

my classes are finished (finally), so i can stop reading for the summer (except for harry potter). now we are hanging out in spam land usa. we'll get to the museum one day and take some pictures with the spam cans :) i'll also get some updates on the police reports for austin, mn (i'm sure there's lots of crime happening).

we are heading to grand rapids next week (around the 4th) and then we will make a stop in cedarville on the 12th and then head back to north carolina on the 13th and leave for china on the 20th.

so far the summer has been good (except for the plethora of reading, not the harry potter), samantha is getting fatter and fatter (she's moved from the 15% to the 80% in weight). she's just bulking up for china, if she's like her dad she'll drop 10% of that weight in the first week back in china.

here's a few picts of samantha:

here's my salute to creepy uncle seth (watch out kids, he drives a segway and a van!)

Monday, July 9, 2007

hangin' in wheaton

here i am chillin' in wheaton. not sure what to do here, but i do know that i really hate reading. as ben watson said to me: "wu, reading is the bane of your existence"; i think i would agree with him on that one. who knew that getting a master's degree would require more reading and reflecting (i hate reflecting just as much).

i did get a chance to take a break from the reading and cruise the wheaton suburbs on a segway. our good family friends, have 2 of them, so one night rach and i cruised the neighborhood on the segways. too bad samantha was sleeping, i think she would have liked the ride.

other than that not much else. samantha and rachel are in minnesota now, eating spam and shopping at target. i'm still in wheaton - reading.

here's a few updated picts of samantha:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

go big or go home! (i didn't go home)

grip it and rip it, i say! and i ripped it really good.

this morning i went wakeboarding and split my chin with my knee :) 7 stitches on the outside and 3 on the inside! chicks dig scars, so i'm set with the ladies (at least the two in my house). i'll post some nice pictures when i get them, but now i'm off to drive to wheaton with the rents. we're pulling an all-nighter, this was so i could wakeboard this morning, and now look what happened. bummer!

rach and samantha are flying - lucky!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

home sweet home

we finally made it home :) samanatha showed her true wu colors and slept the entire flight home (only woke up to eat-true wu fashion). now we are hanging in n.c. eating and sleeping, the good life.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

1 week away - maybe?

we are scheduled to leave for the states next week saturday. when i say scheduled, i mean that is the day that we requested from our school to get our tickets for. but it's now one week away and we still have no tickets. what a dilemma! so maybe we'll be home in a week, maybe not.

we've had a lot of things going on here the past week. josiah and sarah (the little one) both had birthdays, and they had super awesome birthday parties! josiah's party was a super hero theme, i was super fro man and rach was "the ruler" (her super power was measuring things). sarah's birthday party was a color theme (purple, pink, and yellow). i own nothing in that color. but luckily samantha is taking this purple medicine for an infection she has. this medicine stains everything it touches, so i decided to use it to tie dye a shirt (pretty fancy). i hope you are impressed.

so hopefully the wu's will be home in a week, if not, we'll see you cats when we see you!

Monday, June 4, 2007

we're back!

we're back home in siping :) we've been here almost 2 weeks now! a lot has happened, grandma and grandpa soderstrom came and left, aunt lauren also appeared for a little visit. we also used them to haul all our stuff back from beijing to siping on the train. between the 5 of us and one baby, we had 10 huge bags, full of stuff, mostly for the baby. and one pack and play, which by the way is not very light. you'd think they would be easy to drag around, but not the case senor, it was quite the pain to drag around the train stations. but everything made it and we got off the train in time too!

we've taken samantha out on the town a few times now and everyone wants to see her and poke her. the big shocker is that she is less than a month old and we are taking her outside. all the old people are in shock when we tell them how old she is. they say that the baby and the mother shouldn't leave the house until a month. and then i say in america, we don't do that, and then they are even more confused. you see, the month after a woman has a baby, they should stay at home and rest in bed the whole time. during this time, they are not supposed to leave the bed/house, they can't take a bath, brush their teeth or hair, they are pretty much under house arrest (without the tether on their ankle). how crazy is that? good thing rachel didn't follow that.

our plan is to leave china on the 23rd of june and head to north carolina first. so see you all soon!!! (i know nobody wants to see rach and i, but you have to if you want to see the baby)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

passport day

on tuesday we took samantha to the embassy to get her passport and register her. it was her first day to breathe the fresh smoggy beijing air. i hope she's not addicted to the air and doesn't turn out to be a smoker someday.

a few people have asked if she will be a dual citizen, but china doesn't grant that so, she'll just be an ordinary american citizen. i guess when you already have 1.3 billion people to worry about, why should they throw in a few foreigners?

typically when a chinese lady has a baby they stay at home for a month afterwards and don't get out of bed (they don't brush their teeth, take showers, comb their hair, etc...). apparently it's good for recovery and the baby. so for us to take samantha out on the town after 3.5 days, it turned some heads. not to mention that we don't have anything to carry her in, because she's too small for the baby bjorn thing. so we just carried her around, oh well my guns are getting bigger from carrying a 6 pound weight everywhere.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Samantha Grace Wu

here she is world!!!!!

she's finally arrived!!! samantha grace wu came on may 11th at 8:12 pm here in beijing (oooh an international baby).

her stats for the back of her baseball card is:
weight - 6lbs 8 oz
height - 19 inches

here's some shots of her big day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

tribute to the loser

here's my offcial salute to the first loser of the baby pool. sonny chose 5/5 (wu yue, wu hao-since my last name is the number 5-wu) at 5:55 pm for the baby to be born. unfortunately it didn't happen, it would have been cool. sorry sonny :( but we did enjoy a delicious gi-normous pizza on 5/5 to try and get the baby out.

in case there are others that want to participate in the baby pool, it's not too late to enter, since baby lilo hasn't come yet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

going to the zoo

still no baby, so we decided to hit the zoo today (i thought the walking might get lilo out). stuart, who teaches in beijing, joined us for the adventure. it's been almost 10 years since i last went to the beijing zoo, so i was excited to see if anything really changed. there were some really nice parts to the zoo and some really not so nice parts (those parts didn't change since 1997). at one point, stuart and i named a goat michael scofield (from prison break, the tv show) and tried to scheme a way for him to break free.

one cool part was feeding the giraffes, they were kinda slobbery - yuck!

everywhere you go in china, people are always posing and taking pictures with their cell phones. so here i am taking a picture of stuart by some beautiful trees with my cell phone. except that i didn't splurge for a phone with a camera. too bad i couldn't really capture the kodak moment for stuart.

part of the fun of the zoo is seeing all the chinese people and how they react to all the animals. for that, it's worth the admission price.

here's a picture of the puzzle that rachel has been working so very hard on for the last few days. she finally finished! aparently when you are waiting for a baby, a puzzle is a good thing to do. i hate puzzles, i officially named myself a "puzzle-tard", with some of the youth back in michigan.

Friday, May 4, 2007

mr. and mrs. smith hit beijing

this morning we met up with some friends (who we really had never met in person). eric and heather are here in beijing, because they are on their way to changchun to pick up a baby from the orphanage in siping. it's a long crazy story how we got connect with them, but we had a good time hanging out with them and sharing stories about their daughter and the other babies at the orphanage. we are so excited to be able to know where one of the babies is going! we are more stoked to know that little han xue will have a new family! here's a picture from breakfast/brunch and a picture of their daughter :)

and here's a shot for seth. seth always tells this joke (that's not even his own orignal joke), but it goes something like this: did you know an escalator can never be broken? to which he responds: it can only be stairs! it's funny the first time, and not when seth tells it, but he still tells it to every girl he meets. so here is my picture tribute to the lame joke and an apology to all the ladies who have had to hear it. but he does look good in a moustache, that's one thing going his way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

waiting in beijing

so i arrived in beijing yesterday, and now it's just sitting around and waiting until lilo comes. the famous mavis davis was here hanging out with rach for the week that i was still teaching in siping. today we put her on the plane and said "adios". while she was here, her and rach didn't do very much, they pretty much took it easy and lounged around. so when i arrived yesterday, we took mavis around the town. i wanted to bargain for junk for her to bring home, so we headed out and did some mad shopping. i love bargaining, some people hate it, but i love it! it's like a game, and i'm all about finding the treasures and getting the deals.

this morning rach had a doctor's appointment, so we got to see baby lilo on the ultrasound for the final time before she comes popping out. she's on the low end of size and weight, so i guess that's good for rach. it appears that all her limbs are there and she has five fingers (at least on the hand we could see). we also had the doctor make sure she's still a she, and it looks like the girly clothes still have a good chance of sticking around.

here's also a friendly reminder from the good folks in beijing; remember: "do not drive tiredly". we could all learn a good leason from this road sign.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

exam time

today i gave a midterm exam for my oral english class. during the easter holiday, we learned about the easter story and some different aspects of it. so for the exam, i thought i would help out their grade and give them an easy question about easter:

who is the disciple/student who betrayed jesus?

a student answered: yoda

i couldn't grade any more exams after that, all i could do is giggle and think about jesus talking to yoda. i knew that little green guy was evil.

Monday, April 23, 2007

christmas in may? and more ...

today the mail arrived and we received 5 christmas cards, i realize that mail in china can be slow, but wow!! they must have arrived via the donkey cart. this is a new kind of slow, it will be hard for me to complain about the US post office ever again. rachel even received some birthday cards. what an exciting day!!! (the postmark on one card was from december 3rd, 2006)

here i am trying to hear lilo, but all i heard was rach's stomach gurgle.

i just returned from dropping rach off in beijing, so she's a local beijing peep, until lilo comes. i have to teach this week and then i'll move there next week until lilo makes here grand entrance. so here's some subway pictures from the weekend in beijing. it was a little bit crowded!

and this is why i love queuing day!! there's a poster to promote standing in line on the 11th of every month. here seth and i are demonstrating the proper way to "queue it up!" (the people in the picture have their mouths open, in case you are wondering why we chose the "pac-man" look)

spring is also in the air!!! beijing was already green and warm, where siping is still chilly and brown. but i did spot some signs of spring coming very quickly. if you look really close you can see a little green bud coming out.