Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! Firstly, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Winter has come to Dalian! It’s really cold, and keeps getting colder! As such, when I got my annual cold, it ended up lasting about 5 weeks… I think because my immune system is not used to the air of China! I went to the doctor, which was an interesting experience! My students took me and translated, which was a wonderful help. The 1st time I went they gave me an antibiotic and this box of pills that was all in Chinese except for the number 12…. so they were known as the magic #12 pills. Like all the other cold medicine that I took, including the things I brought with me from the states, they worked for a little while, but as soon as they wore off I was back to being miserable. My students took me back to the doctor, and they asked if I would be willing to try Chinese Traditional Medicine… I said that I was willing to try anything they thought would help, so I was handed 3 things… capsules, pouches of syrup, and these bags of greenish-brown granules. The cough syrup tasted like extremely concentrated grape cough syrup… so pretty nasty! The granules were just weird. I mixed them with water and drank it down, and I was never able to decide if I liked the taste or not… but, they worked like magic! I am about 90% better. Its awesome!

Classes are going pretty well… its getting down to the last few weeks of the semester, so everyone is starting to go into the end-of-term study crunch. A few of my student/friends have been going to the library almost every day to study. One day they invited me to go along and work on my Chinese workbook so that I could ask questions if needed. We were all working quietly and I started coughing. After a couple minutes I couldn’t stop, so one of the girls offered me her water bottle to help my cough. I took a big gulp to help, completely forgetting that Chinese people believe that cold water is bad for your health, and the hotter the water, the more beneficial it is…. because of this, the gulp of water I took was scalding hot! I managed to stop coughing, because I think I burned the cough away. The girls I was working with saw my eyes bug out and starting laughing hysterically. I was able to turn it into a lesson on cultural differences: Every week these same girls ask why my water bottle is filled with cool water, so I told them now you know; I would burn my mouth every time I took a drink!!! It was definitely very funny!

I also felt very accomplished with myself and my Chinese skills. Since I got here, I had been buying 2 liter bottles of water from the store, but I was buying tons of bottles! I was talking to one of my neighbors one day, and he told me that if you ask, the building manager will give you a dispenser and one of those 5 gallon bottles of water, and then when you need a new bottle you take down the bottle and 10 RMB and get a new one. And its all filtered water, because tap wate here is not usable, even for brushing your teeth! So I took it upon myself to get a dispenser. Of course our building manager is is this wonderful little old lady who does not speak a word of English, and takes it upon herself to further my Chinese any chance she gets. So I translated the phrase I want a water dispenser please into Chinese, and after practicing it for a while, went down to see what would happen. Well 20 minutes and a lot fo hand gestures later, I had a water dispenser! It has made life much easier, and its nice to have already filtered water here all the time! I was also very proud of my accomplishment because I didn’t use a single word of English! I am beginning to understand simple phrases in Chinese. I can say words and small phrases. Today I went to my fruit vendor and got some dried candied ginger, and not only was I able to understand when the man said be careful, its spicy! I was able to say I like ginger back! Most of the food vendors around my building know that I am trying to learn Chinese so they always make me say my order, and help with my pronunciation.

Lastly, I am thankful I finally started feeling better because Friday night I was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with 50 other foreigners. A friend of mine that teaches English at another University in town invited me to this dinner, and It was wonderful! The dinner took place at a hotel, and it was buffet style. They had a variety of different foods including Chinese, American, Japanese, and Mexican! I was in a 7th heaven of western foods! I had turkey, cranberries, quesadillas, pumpkin pie, stuffing, and some bread with cheese, which here is a delicacy!!!! It was fun to be able to talk with so many other foreigners and enjoy the holiday. I am still loving Chinese food, but there are moments where I crave anything remotely Western. As a result, I eat a lot of Oreos, which are something I rarely if ever eat in the states!

Well I hope you have enjoyed these stories! I didn’t realize so much time had passed since I had written my last post! Time is definitely flying here, but I love being able to share my stories with all of you! Have a wonderful week!

Lots of Love from freezing Dalian, Ashley 🙂

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About Ashley

I, Ashley, am going to teach English in China for a year, and this is for people to keep up with all my adventures! I am a bright and colorful person, who always loves a new things, and now everyone can keep up with me on my newest trip!

Posted on November 25, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Keep up the great story’s I have been sharing them with my folks here in MO and we have all enjoyed your adventures. Lewis and I will be heading back to NM in a few days. I’m not sure what I will be doing this winter as the guy I have been working for the last three winters has let his business go back to the franchise. I did have a guy from the corporate office call me a couple weeks ago but he won’t tell me what he is willing to pay or the hours until I get back in Alamogordo. I guess they are going to try and keep the office open until it can be sold again.
    Well take care Love Kelly

  2. I was wondering what was going on with you! That cold must have really done a number on you! Glad to hear you are feeling better!

    We are just back from Thanksgiving in MO. Had a good trip – but I’m actually ready to be home and get back in a routine. Just so much fun, food and drink this body can take!

    Sounds like you are doing great with your Chinese! Thanks for all the wonderful stories! Love – Aunt Carol

    • yeah, I wasnt a pretty sight!!! But I invested in a humidifier, and that helped things…. and the bonus… it looks like a pink pig and the air comes out of the snout…
      Glad you guys had fun for your Thanksgiving!
      Lots to love!

  3. Ash, Glad to hear Thanksgiving was a treat, hope you are over the flu too! Chinese Traditional medicine is really helpful. Also I noticed about the candied Ginger…you can make it yourself, Go to market its a knobby light brown root ..looks like a gnarly hand with swollen fingers. Boil them in water till soft ,rinse,then slice 1/8 inch thick or less , then put back in pan with some water, salt and sugar and boil till mixture thickens. you can refrigerate and will keep for long time. then take individual slices and in a baggy add a little more sugar and shake to cover. Secondly I save the juice from the first boiling of them and add a little sugar and salt to that too and boil for 10 min then save juice and add to your cooking ,tea or coffee it has a great flavor. It inhibits bad bacteria like antibiotic properties like garlic and echinacea. Also good for digestion ,nausea,motion sickness , anti -ulcer aspects,regulate blood sugar and increases blood circulation, thins blood , helps immune system, anti- inflamatory properties and reduces cholesterol. Its one of the 7 wonder herbs. Anyway. Miss ya ,God bless and love ya!!! Cat

  4. Awesome, I will have to try making that!!!! I use ginger in or on pretty much everything, and here it is something you can buy everywhere, which is nice, so i usually make ginger tea, but I will definitely try the candied ginger sometime!
    Hope everything is going well with you, great to hear from you!
    Love ya!

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