Party Time!

Well in class this week I was telling my story.  I told the students about where I went to college and that I was an art major.  I told them about my family and friends, and everybody back home.  When I got to the part about my hobbies I told them that I liked to play card games and Clue.  I have been thinking about my apartment and how much I have been blessed, and thought that I need to share my blessing with others, so I invited two of my classes over this weekend for a Game Night. 

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My classes range anywhere from 29-54 students so I started small.  I asked my smallest class to sign up for game night.  Only 15 signed the list and I know I can hold at least 30 in my living room so I invited another class as well which brought the number up to around 30.  I thought I could handle that without getting too overwhelmed, and started to get really excited planning everything.  About 4:30 pm yesterday thought I got really nervous.  “What if they don’t come?”  or worse “What if they do, and bring all of their friends with them?”  I planned a couple of games including charades and balderdash.  I spent all afternoon making balderdash cards before deciding that charades would be an easier game to teach and settling on that.  I do think Balderdash would be fun though so maybe I’ll have my American friends over one night to play that.  I wish I had the cards for the actual game, but had fun printing crazy-long words off the internet.

I wanted to do something for the kids that would be memorable for them and I think it was.  I made homemade peanut butter and sugar cookies.  It was a feat I must say.  Ingredients for baking are hard to come by in China and I had to borrow butter because I couldn’t find any at Walmart.  I ended up mixing half butter and half wesson oil to make the cookies but they came out with a great crispy taste. 

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Chinese people don’t cook so the only things I have in my apartment is a toaster oven and hot plate.  One of my good friends and confidants, Mary lives downstairs.  Mary is like a grandmother to me and a few of the other girls and I came over yesterday.  She made pancakes with syrup, bacon, sausage and biscuits with gravy for breakfast.  It was just like being at home in the states.  I loved it.

After breakfast we made cookies.  I mixed food coloring with white sugar to make the sprinkles on top because you pretty much can’t find sprinkles or colored sugar in China.  Mary has a table top oven, which can fit a 9×13 pan, so we could bake a whole sheet of cookies at one time.  It took a little while but was a ton of fun.

Here are some pictures of my Wal-mart run.  I saw whole chickens, and when I say that I mean the whole thing.  In China meat is expensive and the Chinese don’t waste anything.  It really grossed me out though.  Even at the vegetable market the slab of meat are hung on giant hooks in the open air market and the guy sits there with a fly swatter to keep the bugs at bay.  That being said I still eat meat like street food and such, I just refuse to cook any chicken that doesn’t come in a sealed package from the freezer section.

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I also saw these ugly fruits.  I’m not sure what they are called but they are supposed to be pretty good.

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  I hate that I don’t know the chinese names of any of the foods that I’m eating because it makes it impossible to ever order it again.  Everyone tells me that I need to make friends with my Chinese students so they can help me order food and get a taxi and all the things that I haven’t yet figured out how to do.  I know they are right but I try to be too self sufficient sometimes and hate to admit that I need help… I’m working on being more humble.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Donna Petry says:

    I don’t blame you on not wanting to eat the chicken. Heck if all meat looks like that I would have to become a vegetarian,

    1. I would become a vegetarian if I could stand the vegetable dishes. Some of them are pretty gross though. There’s are really slimy giant mushroom dishes served cold, about 14 types of tofu, roots of various plants. I do like the stir fry green beans, and sweet and sour chicken or pork. There’s also a place that serves fried chicken and sweet potatoes. I’ve started checking out some of the cafeteria style places that have a large variety of dishes so I can find things that I like to eat but it’s a challenge sometimes. Most of the food here is super-spicy and I’m not a big fan. Part of the problem is that I’m dealing with culture shock and having a hard time adjusting to the food here. I’m sure it will get better soon. 🙂

  2. Niko says:

    that ugly food on the right side, it is called Durian (liu lian) it is from Malaysia which is considered as king of fruit. Some people like it, others hate it so much. hehe.

    those chicken, oh, hahahaha,they are really not nice looking, hahaha

    you can buy a map and mark out the some key places, wherever you want to go, you just show it to the taxi driver.

    1. It is pretty ugly. I think you may have to teach me how to survive in China. I’m having a tough time knowing what to eat. I don’t like eating street food all the time but I don’t really know what to cook either. I think the map idea is a great one. I’ve got a bus map so I may do that in the near future.

      1. NIko says:

        Don’t eat too much street food, I don’t think they are very clean. How about the cafeteria in the school ? How are the foods in it?
        BTW, do you have any messagers, like skype or QQ?

      2. i have skype. you can look me up I’d love to talk sometime. It’s ashbychrissi. I usually leave my computer logged on in case I get a call. Or you could just text me – 136.9735.7220

  3. Juanita Puckett says:

    What an experience, things you will never forget. I am afraid we would lose a lot of weight if we had to go through all that but sounds like great memories. We had a party for George, my daughter in law, my niece’s husband and brother all had birthdays. It would have been
    too hard without convenience foods. What great ideas with the games. They are going to remember you as a teacher too.

    1. The games were super-fun. I was a little nervous about the game night but it turned out fine. The students were a little nervous when they first got there and all but two of them got lost on the way. It’s just a really hard building to find. I’m glad things are going well with your family.

  4. NIko says:

    OMG, those chicken, haha, they really don’t look good. But sometimes, meat like that is considered more fresh than frozen ones in China, haha

    That fruit on the right side, is called Durian or Liu Lian in Chinese, it is from Malaysia, some people like it so much, others can’t even smell it,

  5. Cindy says:

    Dear Chrissi,

    I truly enjoy reading your blog and the pictures “tell” so much. The picture of the kids in your class is daunting! You have a lot of students and you don’t even speak their language! It took a lot of courage and faith to leave Lousiville and travel to China. You have such a great attitude about everything, including the food, water, distance when going places, etc.

    I am concerned about the cleanliness. After reading about the water in your apartment, I wonder how the street vendors serve clean food. Have you been sick any? I really feel for you in food area. I know that I am spoiled with American food. What would you like for us to send you?

    Mary sounds like a wonderful women. I am sure Papa has a hand in it. We had our 2nd Murphy family reunion last weekend….remember last year it was the weekend we moved you into your apartment? This year, we had another picture made of the grandkids. I will have to send you one when I get them. Hannah and Season watched the grandkids for a couple of hours on Saturday, so we went out to lunch and then to the Homemade Pie Kitchen. We sent you a card….anxious to see how long it takes it to get to you. I mailed it Wednesday, the 4th. I printed out the label and glued it to the envelope.

    I really like your apartment and from what I have read it sounds like you have it to yourself (meaning no roomates). To me, that would be a blessing. I enjoy my quiet time….but when you want to have people around, you can invite them over. How did it go with your party? Just another example of how you are brave!!!

    I have some questions…
    How is your tooth? Is it giving you any pain?
    How much did your luggage weigh at the airport when you left the states?
    Did you get your water cooler yet? And will you have ot bring 5 gallon water jugs up the stairs to your apt.?
    How is going with the washing machine?
    Is that unit in the picture cooling your entire apt.?
    how many classes do you teach? And how long does each period last?
    What about the new wall that was built? Have you found any easier way to get back and forth to your apt.?
    Do you have a Clue game?
    What card games do you have?
    Any news about the meds I need to pick up?
    How is your family?

    I think of you every day,
    Cindy

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of questions…

      My tooth is doing okay, no major pain or anything. My luggage weighed in at 63 lb so I had to pay an overweight bag fee. I knew it was heavy but really needed everything I took. Even at that my shoes are wearing out quick with all the walking. I bought a pair of knock-off Converse tennis shoes, but they are still a little small for me… I should have got a size up. They are a 40″ and I probably needed a 42″. I got the water cooler a couple days ago so I have plenty of fresh water now, thankfully. The water jugs are delivered to my apartment but I haven’t figured out how to do it because they don’t speak English and I’m not very good at directions to my Apartment. I am teaching 8 classes a week, they are an 1 1/2 hours each. I have 4 classes Monday and 4 on Wednesday. The AC in the Living room cools the Living room, kitchen and dining area so it’s working out pretty great so far. I have another unit on the ceiling in my bedroom as well though.
      As far as the wall goes, there is no way around it. We joke on campus that the school wanted to build their own “Great Wall” because it is impossible to get though. I do have Clue with me but I really wish I had Balderdash questions to play with my American friends especially, since it’s a good group game. Other than that I just have Uno and two decks of regular cards.
      I’ll get with Mom about my meds, so far I’m doing okay but I’ll need to get that by next month so I will let you know. Mom and Dad are doing well, and Kimberly is expecting in October. Please keep their baby in your thoughts, he will have some complications during birth and have to be in NICU for a while because his intestines are growing outside of his body and they will have to get them back in again. I talked to my cousin Karen the other day and she’s been emailing me and keeping in touch.
      Things are going good for me really, it’s just hard to adjust to so many new things all at once. I hope all is well with your family.

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