Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hong Kong

It is such a hassle to get into Hong Kong but it is soooo worth it! We took a Gondola up to the Big Buddha and the floor was see through!
There were 6 of these smaller Buddhas representing his first 6 monks.
This is the big guy!!
Inside the temple. Everyone was doing their bows, we're just being respectful ;)
At the peak of Hong Kong looking down. This picture doesn't do it justice whatsoever!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Geckos!

We have a family of GECKOS staying with us! I love it! Unfortunately my mom doesnt feel the same way. I've seen a few but I only tell my sisters. Then last night, one popped out of nowhere and jumped across the wall right in front of my mom and she freaked out. We caught it in a bowl and put it outside. He was just a little guy. I liked him.
Yesteray my mom and I went to the Hispanic Womens Club. It was really fun. I haven't spoken that much spanish in a really long time. It was refreshing. One of the ladies there was tellign us about how somehow she communicates with everyone here and they understand her. She peaks absolutely no Chinese, or English, just spanish. It was soo funny. She will call her chinese maid and say "Frijoles" over the phone and when she gets home the maid has made frijoles and salsa. I wish I had that gift.
I found a stairway of death and look where it lead me!!
It really was pleasure ground! It was sooo pretty up there! I think I'll go again today.
I can't wait to start working. I feel like a stay at home mom. I'm too young for that. I also really need to make one good friend that is willing to travel with me. I want to go to all the most beautiful beaches around here. I want to go to Singapore and Northern China. I also want to take Mandarin classes and Kung Fu. I don't think I'll be able to take kung fu anymore. It's not offered like anywhere around here :(.
I wish I had my best friend here. or my boyfriend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"How do u work this?"

So we went to a shopping center and Emma and I went to go to the bathroom and this is what we saw behind the stall door:
Yeah. My first thought was, "Do you have to take your pants off and stand over it?" then I realized that its a squatter. And man the chinese are so nice that they put in little grooves so you know about where to put your feet. But dont even worry if you by chance 'miss' it's not a big deal because there is a little old lady that comes around and mops every 10 mins or so. I am sooo glad our house has American toilets.

Okay so then we went to this American Import Outlet Store and they had the most random things. Like HUGE ceramic cowboy boots that serve as planters.
Or how about these huge Kokopelli
I miss Jc :(

Bitten Legs

My legs are some what covered in mosquito bites. Its horrible. I really hate mosquitos. With a passion. Why are they here in on earth with us? I don't even know.
Well I was planning on writing about my chian experience yesterday but then I read this and started to cry. So I am going to write about my thoughts on that. I really can't imagine how this mother feels. It has to be so hard. I'm crying just from thinking about it, I would be a complete wreck if I was her. It makes me think of the Families can be Forever video that the church put out a long long time ago. Every time I watch that movie I bawl my little eyes out. I can't help it. I just love my family so much, and I am excited to start my own someday. This mother created this beautiful little version of herself and to lose it.... oh my. It just kills me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

First Real Day

Well I am really annoyed because there is this yoga place that is super close and I can't find it.
Dear Window Cleaners and various other residents of China,
Can you pretty please take a shower??? It would make my stay soo much better. You smell like PISSSSSS!! it's gross. no let me rephrase that; It's utterly and completely disgusting!!!! I would rather sacrifice breathing than smell that. Thank you.
Well today was the first day that our maid (I.E.) came. She has been cleaning all day. She made my mom and me lunch. Guess what it was? Yup rice. And some vegetable pot stickers. I am soo full. And my tummy hurts a little.
My dad is paying me to be Caroline's math tutor and personal trainer. I guess the tutor here was asking for 40 an hour, sooo I am going to ask for 30. :) Good thing I am a math genius.
Here are pictures of a little bit of our neighborhood. You know how in Yes Man the girl teaches running while taking pictures? I tried that. And this is what I got... well the clear ones. ha!
We live in Jing Shan Villas. I like it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shen Zhen

Woah! Soooo I know this is going to sound stupid to any return missionary but I have never been anywhere this different from the U.S. There isn’t a single thing that is even relatively the same. Okay here are a few things. 1. A few things at the store. Like they have Neutrogena, Hersheys, Babybel cheese, and Tropicana juice. 2. At the high end mall they had The North Face and Sephora. 3. Out of the 110 tv channels we have only 4 of them are in English. 4. …. Ummm.. I think that’s it.


So after I left Narita, I landed in Hong Kong. And that is where it all began. I got off the plane, and everything was in Chinese, there were a few signs that were in English but they didn’t actually make sense. I followed the crowd to this place where there was a huge line of people, and a whole bunch of booths. I saw that everyone had their passports out and this little piece of paper that was given to us on the plane filled out. I grabbed mine, I thought it wasn’t important when I first got it. I was wrong. I read it and it asked for my name passport number, address, etc. Then it said that I was only allowed to be in Hong Kong for 7 days. Why? I didn’t know. I get up to a booth and this Chinese angry man, who looked like he was about to pull a gun out on me, took my passport and the card, analyzed my face and then stamped my passport and literally threw it back to me. I was scared. I followed people to the baggage claim and was expecting my dad to be there but he wasn’t. I got both my suitcases and started walking out. I had no idea where I was going and I could only pray that my dad would be somewhere close. My flight was delayed an hour and he didn’t know that. Would he leave without me? I had no idea. Then I saw him. He led me out, we walked a ways and got a taxi. The taxi drove for about half an hour and then dropped us off at this train station. We filled out another small paper, and waited in another line. Everyone around me was Chinese. I felt so out of place. Then we got to this meter where you pay for the bus, and we had to pay 4 times because we had 2 suitcases. Then we got on a bus and rode that for about 10 minutes, and then waited in a line of buses for a half hour. The bus was crowded and smelled funk nasty, and this guy next to me was clearly drunk and kept burping. It was gross. We finally get to this building and we have to fill out more papers. We stand in another line, get our passports stamped again, and then walk through this ‘no mans land’. I guess Hong Kong isn’t considered part of China so there is a space between Hong Kong and the mainland that is the no mans land. Then we stand in another huge line where these Chinese women keep showing us there phone and pointing, and they have these cards that have cars on them. They wouldn’t leave us alone. One of them even said “white boy” to my dad. And “wait wait wait”. My dad told me that they have their own cars and they want to use them as a taxi. They wanted us to ride with them instead of a real taxi. My dad said to always take the official taxi. They looked like prostitutes but I guess prostitution is really really illegal here. We finally got a taxi, which was surprising because people kept cutting the line. Chinese people are soo rude. Then, my dad was trying to tell the taxi driver where to go but it was hard. He showed him a map and said “Shekou” and “ShenZhen”. I felt like we were never going to get home. I was looking outside the whole time and it looked like the ghetto. There were these big tall buildings with tons of tiny apartments and they all had a bunch of clothes hanging right outside there window. My dad told me that a lot of times you will see clothes on the ground that have fallen and floated down. When we got close to our neighborhood my dad pulled out his Chinese cheat sheet. He tried to say straight and then turn right. And I could tell they were both struggling to understand each other. We got to the gate of our neighborhood and my dad had to show his face to the guard. We got in, went up a hill and then stopped. He paid the driver and then we walked a block to our house and from the outside it looked a little sketchy. Like we had no yard, and there was a gate to our house that had lion heads on it as handles. But the second we walked in I felt completely opposite. Our house is super nice inside. My dad told me to take off my shoes and that everyone takes their shoes off everywhere even at church. We brought my stuff to the girls room, said hi to mommy and Emma, I took a shower and went to bed. I was soo cold, so I put my snuggie on and finally went to sleep.

The next day we had a lady come over to teach Emma and me about China and how to live here and not offend people, and the history behind some of it. It was pretty interesting. I learned a lot. We all went out to lunch at an Italian place and it was super good. I had pumpkin soup and it was delicious!! I loved it sooo much! Ohh I have decided that I am becoming a vegetarian here. At least for the summer, I might stay vegetarian if I like it enough. Well not whole vegetarian because I still want to eat fish. What is that called? Anyways, after Spring, the teacher was done and left, we went to the mall. It was soo cool. First we went to the grocery/convenience store. It was like a walmart but way crazier. The weirdest thing that I saw there was these girls that were working these food stands. Like at Costco and Sam’s Club where they hand out samples, except these girls were dressed up. For example, there was a Tropicana juice stand and these girls were wearing little tiny yellow skirts, with little yellow zip up vests and tall pleather go-go boots. Chinese sluts pretty much. One of the hardest things about being at the mall was that everyone was trying to sell stuff to you but you don’t know what they are saying. I really need to learn how to say “I have no idea how to speak Chinese”. They won’t leave you alone it’s kind of annoying. Then we went to another mall and it was really nice, but the second we stepped out, we were back in the ghetto with all the beggars. There are tons of beggars. And they will touch you even!! Its scary. We took a taxi back home and I was exhausted so I emailed Rachael and went to bed.

Today we went to church and it was a breath of fresh air. Well we did have to take our shoes off and that was weird, but it was nice to hear people speaking in English. I met these guys that are teaching English in a city about 2 hours away. They were all premies and they were just visiting. They smelled bad. Like mildew. I met this really awesome guy that works for Trek here in ShenZhen. He even lives in our neighborhood! He’s an engineer, and he was telling my dad and I that we could come visit the plant that he works at. They build carbon fiber bikes!! That sounds super nerdy but I like it! Our branch is really small and loud. There are tons of little kids! And then we walked home. It is sooo green here. There are soo many trees and plants and bushes that I have never seen before. It’s like a jungle. It’s pretty cool. Okay I’m done.

After church. The humidity is killing my hair!

Traveling a Wee Bit

So I am in the Tokyo-Narita Airport right now and all I can think about is that I am a minority now. I have never felt this way. When I started my day, I was in Provo with Jc. Then I flew from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. I was in a gift shop in LA getting some water, when this lady walked in, looked at these Asians standing beside me and said “Tokyo??” they nodded, and she said, “You need to go now.” So I got my stuff together and walked to the gate. This is when I very first felt like a minority. I felt like they were all looking at me and thinking “What the hell is this white girl doing?” And it only got worse. Everything that they said over the intercom was first said in English and then in Japanese or Chinese. They served us a lunch/dinner and it came with rice. Then about an hour and a half before landing we got breakfast, it was vegetable fried rice. Who eats rice for breakfast? I was still full from dinner because I ate then fell asleep for a long time. So I refused their Asian breakfast. I don’t even like rice that much. So after lunch, I took 3 tylenol pm and I fell asleep. Sleeping on planes is the worst! I hate it sooo much. It hurts my neck. So even though I was thoroughly drugged out, I woke up a handful of times. One of the first times I woke up, they were playing The Blind Side, and I really liked that movie but I felt like I just couldn’t move my body or pay enough attention to watch it, so I switched positions and fell asleep. Then I woke up a little later and New Moon was playing. I like that movie too, but I wanted to sleep more. So I did. I woke up a lot after that one. I would catch glimpses of Edward and Bella and Jacob. It made me think of Jc and how much I missed him already. I was really surprised at how well I held myself together when I said goodbye to him. I tried soo hard. I cried a little when I walked away. And I teared up a few times after but other than that I was okay. So as I was walking through this airport in Japan I was thinking about how much I like America. I like when things are in my language. I like not feeling like a minority. I imagined myself telling my daddy that I didn’t want to stay and leaving super early. I can’t do that. I need to stay for at least 2 months and take in the culture and learn Kung Fu. I am sooo tired. I just want to get on this last plane and see my daddy. I can’t wait to see Emma and Caroline and Nicolas. I am excited to spend the day with my mom talking and cleaning. I really want to go explore with area.


I can’t believe I don’t have a phone anymore. I’m done done totally done calling/texting my friends. I wish I had an international phone. But at the same time I think it will be really really nice not having a phone.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sad Day

I just got back from dropping Rachael off at the airport. It was probably one of the top 5 hardest goodbyes I have ever had to say. I know it's stupid because I will see her in a few months but I was still sooo sad. I have spent almost every waking moment with her for the past 6 months give or take some. We do everything together. the second that I go back into the car after I left her I just sobbed. And now I am crying again. I'm a baby and I don't care.  I LOVE YOU RACHAEL MCBRIDE!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Screaming at the top of my lungs!!!

I got like 2 hours of sleep last night all because of finals! Thank you, you dreaded pieces of paper that determine my happiness, future, career, everything! Okay so they don't actually do all of that, I'm just exaggerating. I really hate Finals. So does everyone else though. Well I have sooo sooo much to do so this is super short. Heres me before my presentation today:
Ohh yeah theres Rach. I love her.

Monday, April 5, 2010

#1

So I'm number 1 and here is why. This morning I had to present a project that two boys and myself have been working on for the whole semester. We wanted to go first right when class started but this other group of boys called it I guess. Well this guy Trevor who sits right next to me walks into class late and he looks pretty frazzled. He is in the first group. He starts the presentation and tell us how he woke up super late and didn't have time to shave. That he woke up to his kids crying rather than his alarm clock. Than after their shindig, he said "So if there are no questions, I'm gonna run outside to my wife with my razor." Okay... so then after class I was walking through the halls and I see this other wife that is bringing her husband breakfast. Okay so put that to the side for a second. You know I'm gonna comment.
My presentation rocked! I wore this cute little black dress with black tights and black suede pumps! and my pearls of course. I looked BOMB! So I introduce our project. I make everyone laugh just by being me. I don't even remember what I said but it was good. My teacher was even laughing. Then I talk through the whole thing, and so do my partners a little. We had some awesome math skills that showed how our project worked and an Excel spreadsheet that calculated it all. We did awesome! I know it!
Okay so I'm the shiz. So as I am walking home I am thinking about the whole wife stuff that went down. And that wasn't even a rare occurrence. Wives are always dropping their husbands off for class, and bringing them food, and there are always wives with babies in strollers walking around our building. How come its mostly always the boys that are engineers? Can those women not handle it? Why are so many of these men mechanical engineers married? It's like more than half of all my classes. This isn't the only thing that I thought about. Another reason that I am the shiz, is that I am an engineer and I am doing really well. I'm not that stupid wife who caters to her husband, brings him his razor cuz he woke up late. That may or may not have gotten her degree. And if she did it was in child development, for sure! I'm not saying that I will never cater to my husband because I know I will. If I was this guys wife, I would bring him his razor too AND pack his lunch. Okay maybe I wouldn't pack his lunch. I don't know. All I'm saying is that I am really happy with myself right now. I am a very hard working student and I am getting an awesome degree in something that I love, most of the time. Here's a funny picture I found.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

NO Ordinary Moments

"There are no ordinary moments"
So Jc told me this quote yesterday and I have been thinking about what it means. So here is what I have come up with:
I love my life. And this is really good because there are no ordinary moments. There is only one Melanie Lynn like me. There is not a single person who knows exactly how I feel at any moment in time. There will never be a moment like right now ever again. There are things and people around me that I perceive a certain way and I need to appreciate it. Every day is a miracle, it could be our very last. We need to be the person that we want to be starting now. We need to do the things that we want to do now. Take every great opportunity that you get. We are not on this earth forever. I think that I am becoming the person that I want to be right now, if I am not already. I like the way I am most of the time. I make mistakes and I say stupid things sometimes but all in all I like me and the life I live. I was thinking a few weeks ago about my grades and stressing about school. I came to the conclusion that the grades I get from men on this earth aren't important, it's the grade I am getting with the big man that matters. If I check out with my Heavenly Father then I am happy. Just do the things that you are supposed to and find a way to enjoy it. Appreciate the little things, try to see the good in everything. I try really hard to make the best of every situation I am put in. That's probably why I love my life. 
Well that was all pretty random but it is what I came up with. Take it or leave it. I don't even care.

Packing

Rachael and I went on a date tonight. It was really nice. We went to TJ Maxx and I got some awesome new Sperry's for 20 bucks!! It was a really happy moment. Then we went to Red Robin and watched the Duke vs. West Virginia game, and Duke was killing so as soon as we were done eating, we left. Then we went to Sports Authority and got 10 boxes! So we got back to our apartment and went a little packing crazy. But it's a good thing because we are both leaving on Thursday so I need to get all my shiz outta here and starting cleaning for white glove.
Here are my Sperry's:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Domestic

Dear Lisa,
Thank you for the apron!! I've been wanting one for a long time now. I LOVE IT!!! You are such an amazing best friend! I love you and I love Kyle and I'm so happy you two are married.

Grand Targhee

I went snowboarding today and it was amazing!!!! I had powder up to my waist! It was soooooo fun!! I want to go on Saturday now that I can't go to Utah. Here are some pictures:

Ohh man it was an incredible day! Well I have class in 6 hours soooo Goodnight!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Last Song

Sorry Rach I stole your title. Okay so Rachael and I, and our other roommates went to see The Last Song tonight. It's a movie based on the Nicholas Sparks book. Okay so I wasn't sure what to expect because I saw Dear John about a month ago and I hated the ending. This movie was most definitely 100% better! I cried! Well I cried in Dear John too, BUT I liked the ending way way better in this one! The love story in it was amazing! There was a super hott makeout and it made me miss my boyfriend. And then there was a side story about a father and a daughter. That was the part that made me cry. Because I miss my daddy. 

Ooookay so Here's my pic for the day. I know I am posting this blog late but I am going to count it for Wednesday's. I was getting ready and I realized that sometimes I look like a Lioness when my hair curls up a ton. So here's my Lioness face.
I taught my last BYU-I yoga class tonight. It was pretty fun. okay it wasn't fun. I am so tired of teaching it's ridiculous. And since I am still kinda sick, I started losing my voice at the end. I was thinking, I can't wait to get out of Rexburg, Idaho and go to China and learn Kung Fu. I can't even wait til this weekend when I get to see my boyfirend! YAY!
Ohhhhhh best of all: I AM GOING BOARDING TOMORROW!!! YESSSSS!!! Targhee has gotten sooo much snow its stupid! They sent out an email to season pass holders that said that the next couple days are going to be some of the best of the season! I can't wait!! 
 Ohh Rach and I were wearing almost matching underwear! Best Friends think alike!!