Hong Kong: oh, but a brief moment of westerness.

Because we are here on 90 day Visas, we had to leave the country and come back to renew them.  I'm no lawyer or TSA agent so I can't tell you why, its just physics or something. Anyways, since I suck at blogging I'm going to formally apologize for the sporadicity of my posts.

Every weekend it seems we have an invitation to visit with friends (mainly Jessie because she is our only english speaking friend, you thought we were popular for a second huh?). 
We also use our weekends to go grocery shopping since it is a time consuming event. We walk everywhere so you have to be equipped with the proper items to bring home large amounts of peanut butter and crackers, and maybe some oatmeal. Which is pretty much all we ever eat. 
Our apartment usually around this time needs a good cleaning, so ya know... that's why I suck at blogging...haha. Very long-winded, but I digress. 

Visas. Hong Kong. Focus.

Some of you, like I once thought because of my lack of knowledge of this region of the world, may be thinking- isn't Hong Kong a part of China? Michael will say, "It depends on who you're asking." Which means to China they are, but China "lets" them do what they want. Super simplified explanation that may not be quite right...but whatevs. You get the point. 

We decided to go to Hong Kong because that is where Michael's dad served his mission and thought it would be cool to see it for ourselves. We were only there for a weekend, which was totally fine because there's a lot of high-end shopping that is very tempting. It's crazy that on one side of the border it's totally Chinese- no "western" food, shops, etc, but once you get to Hong Kong you can find 7/11's, H&M, pizza that is actual pizza without odd toppings like corn, and people who understand English! Now you have to understand, we have been living in a place where few people understand you and everything is SO different. Don't get us wrong, we love it! It was just nice to have some familiarity for a little bit. 

We got to our hostel and met the owner Sam. This hostel had only been open for like 2 months I think. So they were super clean and Sam was even nice enough to show us around Hong Kong. He took us to a place that served a traditional rice dish that has burned rice on the bottom with my all time favorite sausage- Lap Chong. We were also welcomed with warm weather...which I was not prepared for since Luoyang is in its winter climate. We decided to take a ferry across the river to walk around and explore a little bit. And by explore, I mean get kinda lost...which is like the same thing right?

Some of the more famous parts of Hong Kong is it's Skyline along the bay. If you can recall a certain Batman scene where he jumps onto a building and does cool vigilante stuff in China- well that building is one of Hong Kong's tallest buildings. It was pretty cool I guess. They also have an old tram that takes you up to the top of victoria peak so you can see all of Hong Kong. It was the longest wait ever, but totally worth it. It was really cool too because we got to see the other side of the island that was more jungle. Random fact- at the top they also have a Madame Tussauds, with mostly famous Chinese people... random.

So I've said a lot- how about some pictures?

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Halloween in China

Sorry it's been so long!

We've been busy traveling, being sick, and teaching. We come home in 33 days! Its crazy how time has flown. We have loved every single minute of it...well maybe not puking our guts out...but you know what I mean. 

Even though the Chinese don't celebrate Halloween, the school wanted us to teach the kids all about it. I mean what kid doesn't like pretending their a monster and getting candy for it?? 

We taught them this song...which is actually super cute-

For the sounds in between we clapped and for each character we had an action.
It was really cute teaching them "Trick or Treat!" because they would hold out their hands and we would pretend to give them candy and they would pretend to eat it. 
On halloween we dressed up and went to each class to sing the song with them and hand out actual candy...we went to 28 classes and sang that song 28 times + all the times we rehearsed it during the week with them phew!, but it was totally worth it! The kids were sent home with a letter telling their parents they needed a mask for the next week. Some went ALL out and others chose some odd characters haha. One kid had a mask of the guy from Saw and another had a V for Vendetta mask. One kid had a gorilla mask with a fake cigarette hanging out its mouth. Here are the pictures. 
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Wengcheng Park

Our wonderful friend and liaison Jessie has been wanting to take us out for hot pot for a while now. We were finally able to find a time and went with her "sister" (in China, you're closest friends are referred to as your siblings, so it can get confusing) her sister's son and two friends. 

The way hot pot around here works, if you've never been, (and if you have then pish posh guess you can zone out for few minutes) is your start out with the main course in our case it was snakehead fish.
 [little side note for those of you who don't know me, I used to HATE cooked fish and now I actually like it, so this was a big step, but I still HATE shrimp, sorry mom]
After you've finished that, they turn on the burner underneath and add a broth to it. Once it starts boiling, they bring out raw meat (we had mutton) and these veggie almost like a meatloaf balls haha- balls, and some lettuce and spinach. It was SO delicious, it all had a nice flavor because of the fish. Oh, we ate so so much. I felt like this.

Once we were done stuffing our faces, we headed to Wengcheng Park. It's like 4 attractions put in one spot! First off they have a beautiful flower garden area, which is free to walk around and such. In the springtime their peonies bloom and it supposed to be the most beautiful thing ever; maybe we'll have to come back to see it or something :D. Next they have an amusement park with your basic carnival rides. We went on a few which were somewhat over priced, but whatevs. Next they have an ocean park where you have to pay extra- so we didn't go in. And lastly they have the zoo, which we did pay to go into because its pretty cool/depressing. Zoos are different in China, they don't really try to make the habitats look like their surroundings at home. And people can basically throw whatever food they want to the animals because there aren’t really any employees around. At the Macaque exhibit, there was even this poor female mokiki with half of her right cheek hanging off!! It looked fresh too, like she had gotten in a fight with another monkey. The cheek was just hanging there, I tried to find a worker but no one was around. It makes me so sad just thinking about it. It put a real damper on the whole rest of the zoo experience.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. I forgot to take pictures at lunch with the hot pot, so I guess we’ll have to go again!! Buahahaha

 Sorry, this is a random picture, but he was so cute!! I had to show you guys. 

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Shaolin Temple

We had the opportunity to go see the Shaolin Temple with our foreign language teachers from the middle school. It was about an hour out of town, so we could definitely go again since the grounds are so big and we only saw a small portion.

One of the main purposes for this place is to teach Kung Fu. Our Chinese friend, Linda, was telling us how the grounds and the temples were over 1500 years old! So crazy to see all these trees with holes in them from finger practicing. We also got there pretty early so we were able to see all the kids practicing their Kung Fu. I was amazed by how flexible they all were! We were also able to see a Kung Fu show where they showcased the five animals that they emulate when practicing Kung Fu. There was the crane, tiger, snake, dragon, and leopard. It was said that this method had originated at this temple as well. So it was legit!! They also had volunteers come up and try the different animals with them, it was pretty hilarious.

Here are the pictures from our visit-

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China's National Holiday Unit 2.


After we got home from Yuntai Shan we headed out again to take an overnight train to Wuhan. We were in hard seats so it was difficult to sleep and the lights were on the whole time. But it was a good experience all the same. For Chinese people this is the most common way to travel, so we felt fully immersed in the culture.

Wuhan holds a lot of history for China. It was once three separate cities, but now they are districts combined to make Wuhan. It is also known for its huge river, Yangtze River, someone told us it was one of the biggest ones in China. Our hostel was fairly close to some touristy areas so we hit those up first.

We visited this park where they had so so many different buildings and landmarks. The most notable one is the Yellow Crane Tower.  It had a beautiful and very large mosaic piece inside, we could have gone up to the top to look out, but the crowds were huge and it would have been a flashback to Yuntai Shan (no thank you). 

Here are the pictures from that excursion-
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China's National Holiday Unit 1.

China's got this rad National Holiday that is a week long. I'm not sure who exactly gets all the days off- but we did and it was so great to have a break.

Since we planned our trip to Xi'an our brains didn't realize how close the holiday was, so we had to settle for the trips that weren't all booked out. We were actually pretty happy that we didn't go to the huge tourist cities because it probably would have been sheer madness!

We first went to Yuntai Shan (mountain) which was not too far from our city- but the way we got there took FOREVER. The bus drivers would wait until the whole bus was full and then pick up more on the way. Since it took so long we were only able to see one part of the mountain. The place is kind of like Zion's where you have a bunch of places you can go and you take buses and stuff.

This first area was SO pretty BUT the line was hell or mordor. Straight up. I mean it was okay in the beginning when we were thinking- oh it'll be just around this corner...or this corner...but 500 corners and 2 hours later of jam packed lines and sweaty smoking Chinese people we finally reached our destination. At that point I was a major grumpa pants and didn't even want to stay and enjoy the water :[
but the pictures we got are beautiful and at least we can enjoy those :]

This area was Cornel Peak

going through the cave

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The Great Wall of China!!

I've finally found the time to do this post! 

A little intro-
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Mid Autmn Festival: Xi'an 西安

This past week we truly felt like adventurers. We have mostly had guides and people to help us around while in China, but here we were totally on our own. Xi'an is such a cool place, so much to see and so many different people to meet. We came in by fast train on Thursday morning and headed out to find our hostel. We couldn't check in until noon so we decided to find some food and see what was close by. Apparently we were in the cell phone district because every other store was selling phones. Everyone was super hyped up due to the two new Iphones coming out. Seriously, they had some rapper come and perform outside (I don't know how popular he was) but he was throwing out freebies, Michael caught a bunny toothbrush! haha

(here are some pictures of our trip to Xi'an)

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Insta Insta Read All About It!

So i'm truly sad that I can't Instagram due to lack of Wifi in Luoyang. But since Instagram has become a part of my life by creating a digital index of what's happened in my life since 2010.
Naturally, I still feel like I should post them.
Even though there are a bunch of Instas waiting to be refreshed once I find Wifi, I will post them all here so that things can be up to date.

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Behind The Web


My photo
Currently Michael and I are in China teaching the young ones how to speak English. I like to post lots of pictures and I know reading long blogs can get tedious, so here and there I usually will add a link or two for fun. They're usually bolded :] enjoy!
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