Another Week – Another “Sumpin”

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
Trip End Sep 12, 2012

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Flag of China  , Guangdong,
Monday, August 6, 2012

When we don't know what something is (or don’t want to know) we say "that’s sumpin"’.  I know it is not proper English but it is just proper enough for us to absorb things as they come at us.  As we travelled from Graffitiville (Greece) with a quick stop in Moscow we arrived in Hong Kong hoping we could arrange for another Chinese Visa for our second entry into China. Short story even shorter we could but it would be very expensive and not 100% for sure.  Not wanting to risk Sabrina not getting her student visa again and us not getting a tourist visa we decided to not take the 2.5 hour flight from Hong Kong (not China – go figure) but rather purchase train tickets and use the perfectly good airline tickets as fans as we take the 40 hour fast train. (more about that next week!)

We are trying not to think about next week so we can really enjoy this one.  It was wonderful being back in our old 'stomping ground’ that we lived in for 9 months in 2009.  All of us were very happy to see familiar sights and old friends.  We were also reminded what humidity in the high 80s feels like.  Thankfully our good friend Henry gave us an apartment to stay in with air-conditioning in the bedrooms or we are not sure how we would make it.  I’m not a big fan of A/C but even I know when to say ‘uncle’.  This is typhoon season and we just missed a very bad one the week before so the ‘threats’ (downpours) are a nice reprieve from the heat every now and then.

Sabrina is getting a good ‘taste of her life to come’ as she does a homestay with a Chinese teacher and her family.  Sabrina is to teach English in exchange for Chinese lessons and room and board.  We are very happy for Sabrina and her quest to learn Chinese and could not think of a more worthy challenge in light of how the Chinese are challenged here for academic, physical and artistic excellence.  Chinese families aspire (save like crazy) to send their child to England to learn English (not the US or Canada) as it is considered to have the best academic system. 

Observations this week:

1.    Lots of wealth here and Hong Kong.  
    a.    Guards limit the number of people allowed into the designer shops (Rolex, Prada, Louis Viton, Gucci etc.) as they stand in line down the streets in Hong Kong.

2.    Chinese believe that money can go away but not your education – so they invest heavily.

3.    China is NOT the place to be fat (I know that is not PC back home but it is here) 

    a.    Buildings under 8 floors don’t require an elevator (used to be 10) compared to our 4 it’ long climb and every extra once is too much to carry in the heat.
    b.    We order 20 liters of water each day that has to be carried up!

4.    With about a billion people riding bicycles NONE of them wear helmets but cycle with an umbrella so they don’t risk getting a sun tan.  
    a.    Perhaps we should learn to drive and ride a bike and our streets would be safer.

5.    Personal Space dimensions are much smaller here

a.    I have observed driving that would cause the calmest pastor to ‘flip the bird’ or ‘yell’ in North America but here not even the slightest flinch
    b.    I was swimming at a local pool for swimming lengths and people will swim perpendicular to the lane and think nothing of cutting you off and interrupt your swimming even though the lanes are clearly labeled.  Back home you would have a water riot!

6.    Health is very important here
    a.    They drink tea before and after drinking tea – tea tea tea and more to tea!
        i.    Yet, you can be swimming in an outdoor pool and the lifeguard (looking like an Olympic swimmer) sitting guarding the pool smoking a cigarette!

Back in Greece, I had a dream to run a marathon from the city of its name sake (and origin of great battle at Marathon) to Athens last week but it became evident that the 40 degree heat was not my biggest problem but rather a hip that would not cooperate.  I consulted my Specialist (aka my wife) as well triple confirmed her in China and my running days are over!!  I must seek an alternative sport – how about competitive sweating?  At the rate I’m sweating now – I will win gold!

We continue to have lots of laughs and making lots of memories – we hope YOU are too!  Keep cool and we will chat next from the ‘spicy and Panda province’!
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Pastor Peter & Tineka on

I love you all and am very happy that you are living life not just going though the day to day motions . Our time in this world is short and no job or any amount of money will make it longer our time is fixed on this earth so make the best of it no matter the surcumstances. Thank God we have a home to go to after this world .

This may be my last time on the computer till I get back from spreading the Gospel in Sasketoon , I will be home in two months , so God bless and enjoy your adventure .

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