Top 6 Things We Learned in China

China was a revelation to us. We were surprised both by the good and the bad. We never expected the people to be so friendly nor the air to be so dirty. The country is racing headlong into the 21st century, trying to make up for centuries of isolation and decades of communism. As a…

Top 6 Things to Eat in China

We ate like pigs in China. The food is cheap, plentiful and tasty and far superior to anything we’ve gotten in Chinese restaurants at home. By the time we got to Yangshou, the younger kids were ready for some Western food and went back to their old favorites of pizza and lasagna. Dax could eat…

Top 6 Things for Families to Do in China

China was a major surprise for us. We went in fearing coldness and rigidity and instead found only warmth and flexibility. We were overwhelmed by the affection the Chinese people showed us and don’t doubt much of it was because we are a family, or as the Chinese like to say “big, happy family.” This…

Adios to China

What a wacky, wonderful month we had in China. A big part of us didn’t want to leave, but with only eleven months, twenty some countries to visit, and visas that expired on the 16th, we knew our time had come. Guilin the second time was just as mellow as thIMG_0581.JPGe first, though this time…

Internet, Internet Everywhere and Not a Byte to Read

I also use a set of internet products which utilize both upstream and downstream bandwidth, all the connections in China have been miserably slow…. They can tell you about the troubles with both the phone and video service but the internet connection was fast and fairly reliable…. At the Sheraton in Guilin the broadband was so slow, 12k, I had to go to a hostel across the street and use their much faster (160k) service…. (link to hoa wu)I post those in part to let you know more of what we are doing, but also t remind myself to get back on the broadband wagon when we get a chance and hold my own feet to the fire.

Life on Less Than $5 Dollars a Day

Watch people dig holes by hand or move mountains of rock on their back or repair the great wall with donkeys and you get a deep appreciation for the amount of work these people have to do just to stay alive…. The good news is the last 15 years have brought about great change, there is a burgeoning middle class, there are more opportunities for the youth and if China can avoid an ecological disaster from the pollution and falling water table this place should grow for years to come raising the living standards of future generations…. They will go on and figure out how to continue to live on less than $5 dollars a day as new China passes them by.For us it means we are a little more generous when the taxi driver charges us an extra $.25 or the orange vendor charges us an extra $.12 she didn’t charge her Chinese patrons. Sure they all add up and in the end we might spend $80 a day, but $5 for us isn’t going to force us to cut the trip shorter but for the lower class chinese it is the same as 12 hours of hard labor.

Out To Dinner In Yangshou, Be Back Later

There were at least fifteen Chinese to every foreigner, and they were still obsessed with grabbing Asher for pictures, a skill which it seemed no Chinese could master since Asher would bolt away and hide every time anyone got remotely close to her…. Aside from the tours on the Li River, the Yang Shao Mud Caves, and so forth all that there was in the quite town of 300,000 was a single street packed with restraunts and discos…. We managed to buy 2 fried rice plates, sizzling beef, sweet and sour pork, three cheese pizzas, a plate of pasta, garlic spare ribs, roast goose and beef noodles for under twenty dollars, finally cutting down on food costs after insanely priced Australia and New Zealand, I mean three bucks for a candy bar?… The problem is that in a country where the only indigenous instruments are flutes and a single string instrument, you don’t build a good rhythm base among most people, and so most end up dancing like McKane, Kieran and Asher, a lot of jumping around with no real connection to the songs beat.