Monday, October 28, 2013

Patience... What Patience?

Ya know I feel like I am a pretty patient person when it comes to most things. I feel like if there is a pile up of traffic on the highway, I think to myself, "What a great time to think about life." or if someone cuts in front of me in line, I think "Ya know they probably have somewhere they need to be like right now!" Okay so I'm not exactly like that (That makes me sound like a saint... haha and I am definitely far from being a saint) I never thought that coming to China would be the biggest patience tester!! Oh my goodness! Isn't it just common courtesy to be respectful of your neighbors? Or of others around you?

We have been in China for about 8-9 weeks and I have come to the conclusion that the lady who lives above us is... oh how do I say it?!.... Oh she is crazy! Maybe psycho I dunno but she is insane! I don't know why she does this but here is what we hear on a DAILY basis. We wake up to her moving furniture around 9 a.m., then around 9:30 this really annoying Happy Birthday song comes on and it is on repeat! Holy cow I don't know what I'm going to sing to Mason when he's 1 because is ain't goin to be Happy Birthday!

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Then for some reason she has to pound on drums in every room in the house, meanwhile the TV is blasting and on top of that there is an orchestra/Christmas music type thing also blasting on a radio in the background. After the drums are done, she brings out the cow bell! A COW BELL? Oh man, so then she pounds on the cow bell and is yelling some voodoo things while she's doing it. I have come to the conclusion that every day she has to bless her house or something, I think she does this so no bad spirits or devil type things enter her home... but if she keeps it up the devil in me will be pounding on her door soon. Believe me I have tried to pound on the ceiling, but our walls and ceiling are cement so, if anything, all I caused was paint to fall from the ceiling... oops. Kyle has actually gone up to her floor and knocked on her door, she doesn't answer. In fact all noises end! YEAH!! No more Happy Birthday, whoa where is the cow bell? Maybe the cow ran away. ugh a cow bell. Who owns a cow bell anyway!!... anyway Kyle will knock and knock and knock and she won't answer! haha so then he POUNDS!! and she ends up just yelling on the inside of her door saying stuff like, "Why are you outside my door? Go live somewhere else if you can't stand the noise...." Blah blah blah you're crazy lady! One night her window was open so Kyle decided to talk to her through that by yelling out ours haha I was cracking up! Please, do enjoy:


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Ok so enough about the crazy lady above us... Oh and I know what you are thinking "It probably is just a bunch of kids making all the noise"... nope it is definitely her! She is WAY too crazy to have kids! Okay moving onto another one of my patience testers: Clubbing music. So the crazy lady stop making noise, uhh well pretty much never, but it simmers down around 9 or 10 p.m. and THEN this club literally right outside of our house decides to blast music. Luckily it's mostly American songs (because American songs are the best HOLLLA!... Okay am I black now? Holla??) anyway so from about 10 p.m.-2 a.m. we feel an intense bass! Like we-wake-up-and-our-furniture-is-rearranged type of bass! I honestly have never loved 2 a.m.-9 a.m. more in my life! What is that called again... I think it's called QUIET!

One more story and then I'll get off my soap box. About a month ago we decided to this really cool park we had heard about. So after the taxi ride Kyle tells me that he's going to go buy the tickets to enter the park. As he is standing in line this guy totally walks right in front of him and stands there. Kyle looked back at me like, "Uhh did you not notice that I was standing here... in line?" So Kyle moves around the guy and gets back in front of him. Once Kyle made it to the window to buy our tickets, he is just about to hand the cashier money and the guy that butted him earlier gets right in front of Kyle again and hands the lady cash for him to buy his ticket. Kyle looked over at the guy and said, "Are you going to pay for our tickets?" Which in response, "No! I'm getting my ticket." It's the little things here in China that are really starting to make me like the U.S. more and more! In order to survive in China you have to be really really selfish! And I find that so sad! If you are standing in line at the store and decide to be nice and let people go in front of you, you WILL be taken advantage of! Believe me... I've witnessed it, (cough cough or experienced it.) Well I could go on and on with experiences that have happened while here in China but I won't bore you anymore! All I can say is that I am proud to be an American where at least I know people are nice and considerate of one another.

Ok one more thing that I have found so interesting and then I promise I'm done. The interesting thing about what I'm about to say is that I honestly have no idea how to explain it! I have seen this so many times and it honestly blows my mind that Chinese people don't exactly know how elevators work! I will be behind someone at the elevator waiting for it to come and I see that the arrow is pushed "up". I then think to myself, "Oh I'm going down, so I'll push the DOWN button... right?" Most Chinese people will find the elevator and tell it which way to go, rather then just push down because you want to go down. So for example: We live on the 5th floor and let's say the elevator is on the 3rd floor, a Chinese person would push UP to make the elevator come up to their floor and then once inside push the lowest floor to go down. In some cases they have actually ridden it up... oh that's because they pushed up, who would've thought!! If I think about it too much, I get really confused about the whole thing! I mean I dunno... you tell me what you think when you approach an elevator! I honestly have never thought about doing that when I get to an elevator! Sometime it blows my mind how not so street smart Chinese people are! They are definitely book smart! But ya street smart... hmm I just don't understand how someone can come out of a driveway and somehow have to do a three-point turn! How do you even get in that situation?... you just came out of a driveway.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Slams & Scary Movies!

Have you ever eaten so much candy that you feel almost dizzy? I know I have eaten so much sugar that I have a headache/stomach-ache but dizzy?? It's not often that sugar does that to me, but guaranteed when I do a "Tim-Tam-Slam", it's like the Thanksgiving of all Thanksgivings of SUGAR. Holy cow if you have never done a "Tim-Tam-Slam" before you have to try it, but be warned that you may only want to do one slam, but 4 slams later you know this is going to hit you in the morning, or that night, or heck it may be immediately you never know! So this is how it all started:

Here in Kunming, the city has been in a drought for like 7 years, until Kyle and I enter the city. Honestly it wouldn't surprise me if we brought the snow with us! So it's been raining non-stop for the past 3-4 days and it has gotten really cold! Like 45 degrees cold!! (In Utah I'm pretty sure we'd still be in shorts and a tank top in that kind of weather, but not here... I mean let's break out the winter coats!) Let's just say for once I am super jealous of the 3 year olds that are running around in the full body winter coats! UMM hello where is a 6 foot one for me?? Man a Snuggie (that sounds weird... is that right? the blanket with arms?) anyway a snuggie has never sounded so nice before! So last night, Kyle, me, Jeff and Maren were all in the store and we saw Tim Tams and it hit us!! OH YAY!! Let's break out the hot chocolate on this chilly night and get sugar high!! YAY BUDDY... "I want to get chocolate wasted!!" "Who wants a stomach ache in the morning?!?" "MEEEE!!" So we didn't go in half hearted on this event, oh no we didn't.... we bought not one box of Tim Tams, but TWO!! I mean this was the real deal!

We get home, put Mason to sleep, and the adults break out the good stuff! 2 cups and 2 bowls for the hot chocolate... we don't have enough cups :) and then we get down to the serious business... heating the water! After a good 10 minutes pass we divvy out the hot chocolate (Jeff's bowl: 1/4 full of hot cocoa powder, Kyle's cup: 1/4 full of cocoa powder, My cup: maybe a little more than 1/4 full of cocoa powder, hahaha and then there is Maren's bowl: I want to say 3/4 full of cocoa powder... no it wasn't that much but Kyle and I were cracking up at Maren because when it comes to Maren and chocolate, there was no funny business! I mean if we break out the chocolate we BREAK it out!!) So then the fun begins!! Simply bite off kiddy-corner ends of the cookie and dip one end in the hot chocolate and suck the hot chocolate out, through the cookie, like a straw and then quickly slurp the cookie in before it get mushy and falls in the cup/bowl. INSTANT sugar rush/headache! But for some reason you just cannot stop at one!!

In China, chopsticks are an essential part of every meal... Obviously it's a "must have" for drinking hot chocolate!






Yes, it's so good that this cookie deserves an "eye-close" motion as I bite into it. 



After we finished our Tim-Tam-Slams we wanted to make our stomachs stir even more so we decided to watch a scary movie since it's close to Halloween. Okay so back in the States, watching the Grudge is super scary and really creepy, but after the movie is done there is a very slim chance that you would run into an Asian person (which the Grudge is full of creepy Asians!) But when we literally live in a city where we are the only white people surrounded by Asians and the chance that we would see person that looks like the people in the Grudge or The Ring... those movies were not even close to being an option!! I mean talk about a heart attack waiting to happen!! We ended up watching "What Lies Beneath." I must admit that when I was younger and single, I LOVED Halloween time! I mean who doesn't love getting close to a boy/girl they like and watching a scary movie, it's gives you that excuse to get close right? Okay but now that I'm old/married, scary movies are not appealing to me at all! I've gotten to this point where I get so scared that I feel like I'm going to throw up! All I do is hide my face in the pillow or blanket! But we watched a scary movie anyway and it was actually really fun getting scared! It made me feel like a teenager again!



As usual, hanging out with the Trefts makes for a great night! We are so sad that they are leaving us in a few weeks to go back to Utah! We may hide in their suitcases and come home with them! Just kidding........ maybe!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Parks & Balls

Yesterday Kyle had the rare opportunity to go to a golf course here in Kunming called "Sunshine Golf Course." Here in China you don't golf unless you are really good, and have a TON of money. Chinese people don't have the money to go golfing just for fun so to have someone ask Kyle to go golfing, Kyle knew he was in for a treat! This house that he went to had 2 personal chefs that cooked him sweet pork for dinner but that wasn't what was making Kyle's mouth salivate:

This is the ride that picked them up to head to the house and golf course


First they walked into a locker room where Kyle had his own locker to put his purse... I'm kidding, he put his shoes and golf bag in there.


Out on the greens was the first time that Kyle had ever had his own personal caddie. He would clean the ball and clubs after every single shot. After a few hits, his caddie knew exactly what club Kyle would need and would be ready to hand them to him. The caddie would also line the ball up to the hole so Kyle knew exactly where to hit it.


Kyle has played on a lot of different golf courses in the US, but told me that this golf course was by far the prettiest he had ever played on!

View from the club house




Henry, Kyle, Drew, Taylor



Today we went and explored Kunming a little more. We went to a park called "Green Lake Park." It was really pretty, and really packed! When we first arrived I was a little confused because this is what greeted us:
Are we in Disneyland?? What the heck!


There were many vendors and people playing music! It was a very active park!






Coconuts

Meat

Bamboo


The COOLEST most AWESOME cotton candy I have ever seen!!!



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Anning Hot Springs

Today Kyle and I woke up and decided that we wanted to go see these hot springs that we had heard about. It was only about a 45 minute taxi ride so it was really close where we could make a day trip out of it. The weather here seems to work perfectly with us. When we were in Dali, we woke up and it was raining but it turned out to be the best day because it stopped raining quickly and with the cloud coverage it stayed cool while we hiked around and stuff. So today we woke up and it was raining and I was so depressed because I didn't want to travel for 45 minutes and have the hot pots be closed due to the rain but the rain stopped and it was absolutely perfect weather to sit in hot tubs. The weather was on the chillier side but it was nice because all the hot tubs were hot.... imagine that!

When we first arrived at the hot springs we checked in, paid the fee and then headed into the changing rooms to change into our suits. They provided robes and shoes for walking outside from hot tub to hot tub, but like usual the shoes are made for Chinese woman... not American woman who are 6'1'' and have size 9 feet. Lets just say I was walking on my tip toes so my heels weren't touching the rocks as I walked. It is so different here in China then it is in America, or at least what I have seen in America! In the changing room all the woman were walking around naked! UMMM NO I do not do that. I walked around looking for a changing room but of course they didn't have one. It shocked me when I looked over and there laid on about 5 tables were naked woman getting dried by workers! The workers would towel dry them and then lather them with lotion! OH MY GOODNESS just give me a room to change in and I'm good! After changing into our suits we headed outside to the hot tubs! There were about 20-30 hot tubs spotted throughout this hill. It was gorgeous, it was thick with pine trees in between the tubs.

So excited!
In our robes ready to go for a dip!

The pool! It surprised me when I touched this pool and it was really chilly! This was one of the only ones that wasn't heated from the natural springs




The hot tub filled with roses was by far my favorite one out of all of the tubs! It was one of the hottest and when we got in, this huge aroma of roses filled the air! It was literally like we were laying on a pile of roses! There were lots of rose petals floating on top of the water and lots that covered the floor of the hot tub. It was a very neat experience! If it weren't so hot, I would've stayed in this one the whole time!





We were told that this little one was the hottest tub in the whole place.

Best Date Ever!!! So romantic!

We had our nanny come with us to watch Mason while Kyle and I went swimming. It was perfect! Mason LOVES our nanny and so she would just walk around on the sidewalks, feed him and put him to sleep all while Kyle and I were soaking in amazing tubs!

This is the hot tub had green tea in it!

This was a coconut milk filled tub. It smelled so good when we would sit down in it. This strong aroma of coconut filled our noses! I seriously wanted to drink this one!
After we were done hot tubbing, we decided to go get a massage. I wish that we would've brought our camera with us because the outfits that they had us in were hilarious! I seriously was laughing so hard when I saw what Kyle was wearing!! I can't even describe it! Let's just say that it is meant to stay behind closed doors, it was that ugly! It was like these nasty tan colored jump suit things with color around the necks haha anyway they were nasty! So Kyle and I got a couples massage and it was very different than any other massage that we have ever gotten. It was like a combination of a massage, a chiropractor and a police officer "pat down". I was trying not to laugh when I heard this guy who was massaging Kyle start beating Kyle's head! HAHA oh man I really had to pull it together quickly or else I think I might have offended them! It was interesting, but definitely worth the cheap amount we paid for the whole experience! It was really fun going to this hot springs and spending some quality time with my husband! We are definitely going to go back and look forward to doing it again!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baohai Park

In China they celebrate National Day on October 1st, which is similar to America's 4th of July. Kyle and I have a whole week off of work and so we decided to head about 10 minutes from our apartment to a park called Baohai Park. Kyle had only seen the park from the highway on his way to work but never actually been in the park. I am SO glad that we went! It was absolutely gorgeous!! And the best part is, is that it cost 2 dollars for 3 of us to get in! Just like in Dali, this park was very picture perfect. It is mind blowing how gorgeous China is! There are parts of China where they are run-down and really dirty (which is how I pictured all of China looking like) but for the majority of China, or the places we have seen thus far, are breath taking! After the park we went to a zoo... I'm kidding we actually went to Walmart which was practically a zoo! It was CRAZY!! There were so many people there. And I kept telling Kyle, "Man it is REALLY humid in here." I was sweating bullets! And then we walked pass the humidifier section, and there were about 100 humidifiers ALL GOING!! It is so hard being in a crowded place like Walmart with Mason because everyone wants to touch him. There was one time Kyle was looking down an isle (so he took his eyes off Mason for literally 2 seconds) and a guy reached over and touched his face. That is becoming one of my biggest pet peeves! People just come out of no where and grab his face, hands and feet! He literally is like a baby panda on the loose! I need a sign that says, "Look but don't feed or touch!" I don't know how many people have offered Mason a sucker, an ice-cream cone, a walnut, or a piece of candy for him to eat. Ok people!! He's only 6 months old... not 6 years! Ha-ha he has barely started eating solid foods... I think giving him a sucker right now would just about put him over the edge! Let's just say that if he had an ice-cream cone right now, the squash I give him would be out the door for sure! Ok here are some pictures of the park! Enjoy.... and I'm sorry for the amount, again there were so many amazing pictures that I have to put them all up :)  

In Kunming, there are a lot of marble and mineral rock here! They are really really pretty! I told Kyle that I want to ship a marble slab back to America for my kitchen! Cost wise, it wouldn't make sense!



Grass tunnel



Sorry it's blurry :(




Playing games




Inside this park was an Elementary School!





Outhouse!



This was really fun walking through this amazing park. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful part of China!