Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crazy Carrefour

I went to Carrefour this morning. For those who aren't familiar with it, it is a big chain story (kind of like Walmart). I shopped at them on my mission in Spain, and I've seen them all over China. I don't go there to often since I prefer to buy produce and vegetables at a wet market where they are fresher. This morning though I needed a few cleaning supplies, so I walked over.

I was standing in line to checkout and heard a funny noise. I looked at the woman in the line next to me, and then into her cart. She had a huge fish in there that was flopping around violently. It's head was stuck into a plastic bag, but it wasn't closed off at all and its tail extended way out the back of the bag. She just looked at it and grabbed a metal spatula she was going to buy and started beating it on the head. Hard. She must have hit the fish 15 times. The bag around its head started to get bloody, but the fish just kept wiggling so she kept whacking it. I don't think I would be able to eat that fish after that.

It was crazy to me how fast I've gotten used to crazy scenes like that here in China. I used to cringe at buying meat here. It's all left out on the counter all day long, but I've gotten used to it. I still can't shop some places (Walmart is too crazy for me), but I'm nowhere near as queasy as I used to be. I've learned that to really be happy here in China there are some things I just can't think about too much. If I did I would probably never eat. Out of sight, out of mind helps me deal with a lot of things I would normally find strange/uncomfortable/not the most sanitary.

Soon I will post pictures of the market where I like to shop. (I just need to remember my camera). I promise it's not as bad as it sounds. The market I shop at supplies food for a lot of foreign restaurants here so it actually has a really good selection, and it is one of the cleanest wet markets I've been too. Our house is in a great location so that I can walk to all these places. We have definitely been eating at home more than we ever did in Dalian because everything is so much more available.


We got an oven!

I know the picture is blurry but I'm just too lazy right now to go take another. It's small, but after living without for 6 months it is going to be so nice not having to fry everything for dinner. I used it for the first time tonight to roast asparagus for this meal. It was delicious. Next I'm going to try making brownies. I just might gain back all the weight I've lost here in China thanks to this one purchase.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Our Easter was pretty simple. I did manage to keep secret all the candy I had brought back with me on my last trip home so Nick got an Easter basket full of yummy things we can't get here in China. It was a long 10 days keeping that secret. I love candy and I was so tempted to eat it all while he was at work everyday. I only snuck a few pieces once or twice! I'm pretty proud of those crafty carrots I made to hold the candy in the back of the basket. Thats about as far as my craft skills go.

After church Sunday we invited some friends over for dinner. I wasn't ambitious enough to try to cook an Easter dinner without an oven, not to mention I have no idea where I would find a ham, so we had Coconut Curry Soup. It's one of my new favorite meals. I found the recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe and have made it a few times. It's delicious, not Chinese food (sometimes I just need a change), and I can find all the ingredients pretty easily here.

One of my favorite things about China...


I got these on a trip home from Carrefour one night. There was a cute little old man sitting on the bridge over the road selling them. I got these beauties for 5RMB (75 cents)! They are still alive after 5 days. I would have been happy if they'd only lasted a day at that price.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I must have been extra good this week. On my way back to China I ended up with a whole row to myself on the plane. It made for a much more comfortable trip coming home. I slept for a lot of the flight. I think its helping with jet lag a bit. I've been waking up at 4-5am instead of at 2am (when we came home from our Christmas trip I woke up at 2am for a week straight). Hopefully I'll be back to normal a little faster this time.

It is nice to be back in Beijing. I never thought I would say it, but I was starting to miss China. It feels like home now. Having a sick puppy might have factored into that feeling, but I'm still really happy to be back. CoCo is doing great. Nick took really good care of him while I was gone and fattened him up quite a bit. He grew so much in the 10 days I was gone. He's on a weird schedule too and wakes up with me at 4am. Since he would sleep all day while Nick was gone at work, he is awake for most of the night now. Its going to take me a few days to get him back to normal too.

I left with one suitcase, and came back with two bulging ones. Hopefully I got everything we will need since we don't know when our next trip home will be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dan's Wedding Pictures

I've gotten a lot of requests so I'm putting these up before I head back to China and my slow internet. Dan was married last weekend (April 9th) in the Salt Lake Temple. It was a super fun day. I'm really glad I got to come back for the festivities.

Rehearsal Dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory

Mom and Dad at the rehearsal dinner. Can you tell they are both just giddy!

Waiting for Dan and Rachel to come out. It was a cold, snowy day.

Showing off their shoes.

Our family with Dan and Rach

All the bridesmaids and groomsmen

The cake shove

First dance to "Forever Yours" by Journey

Garter toss. I pumped Tim up for this, but despite a good effort on his part, his roommate Corey still got to it first.

Missing Steve. We tried to get a cut-out but it didn't work out so we took his picture with us.

Picture with Mom's whole family. It was the first time we have all been together that I can remember.

Off they go

Monday, April 4, 2011


When Dan and Rachel got engaged earlier this year I started looking for plane tickets home right away. This was while we were still in Dalian. I found a decent deal with a decent itinerary (no 12 hour layovers) and booked it. I was definitely not planning on moving to Beijing at that time. Well March rolled around and we moved very suddenly. After we got settled in I decided I better call Orbitz and get things straightened out. My original flight left out of Dalian with layovers in Beijing and Los Angeles. I thought it would be no big deal if I missed the first flight and just got on the plane in Beijing. It would cut my travel time down by quite a bit, and that was ok with me. Oh no...

I was told by the Orbitz woman on the phone that my flight would be cancelled if I didn't get on the plane in Dalian. This doesn't make any sense to me at all. I didn't want my money back, I just wanted to save myself a little bit of time. There was absolutely nothing I could do. If I wanted to rebook the flight through Beijing they would charge a 300 fee and I would have to use the same airline even though there were flights up to 400 dollars cheaper out of Beijing on other airlines. I guess its my fault for booking the flight out of little old Dalian in the first place, but it sure is an inconvenient policy.

I made the best of it though. My flight left Dalian at 5:10pm Monday afternoon, but rather than fly there in the morning and sit in the airport all day only to fly back to Beijing, I flew in Sunday night and stayed with some of our friends there. It was a great plan. I got a good nights sleep and a hot shower and then spent the morning with my wonderful host Jen getting foot massages and lunch. I'm so relaxed now it might have to become my new routine every time I fly over the ocean! The only thing that would make this day better is if I didn't have to worry about my sick puppy. Poor little CoCo.

Puppy Scare

CoCo has not been feeling well lately. Saturday night he must have thrown up 15 times. We were getting pretty scared, but Sunday he started eating again and running around like normal. He couldn't have gotten sick at a worse time. I'm sitting in the Beijing airport on my way home to Dan and Rachel's wedding, so I won't be around to take care of him. He threw up a few more times this morning and Nick took him to the hospital. He was diagnosed with CPV.

Since CoCo is my first puppy I had no idea what that was. I spent lots of time worrying and googling. Nick has been taking really good care of CoCo and tells me he has been drinking lots of water and sleeping all day, which I guess is all he can do. He has already hopefully gone through the worst of it and will be my playful fun puppy by the time I get back next week.