Day 188: Cancelled plans…4/19/2016

Wally

Unfortunately, I made the executive decision to cancel our plans for today because Syd’s fever still isn’t totally subsiding. We spent the day in bed together and whatever she needed I did my best to get for her, couldn’t satisfy that Del Taco craving for her. We watched a ton of episodes of House Hunters and just talked shit about people’s poor decision making abilities. Yes the tray ceilings and the crown molding is nice and that backsplash is gorgeous, but is it really worth going 10k over budget?!?! People make stupid choices…

Syd ordered a salad and some garlic bread, so I went to the noodle shop down the street and got myself something. We ate and watched The Mummy Returns and called it a night.

Sydney

I was again up and down and the nyquil did not keep me asleep. At about 4am I woke Wally up0 and we decided to cancel all our plans for the weekend and stay home to see if I get better. It sucks as I was really looking forward to seeing Katie at the Friends Cafe and going on a tour of the Chocolate Factory. Oh well, next week. I really need to get better as Matt will be here next Saturday. I took an Advil PM and passed out for awhile. It did not keep me asleep for as long as I wanted but I felt more rested than I had in awhile.We are going to wait a couple more days  to see if I get better before we go to the hospital and Katie offered to go with us if we need help.I am so sad we had to cancel our plans but my health is more important. We laid in bed and watched tv and slept all day. Wally has been taking great care of me. All I really want is  a smoothie and some toast but that is not possible here. I really needed something so I ordered a salad and garlic bread. It was good and the salad was so refreshing.

My mom skyped us to see how I was doing. We talked for a minute then we finished our movie and went to bed. I really hope I sleep through the night and don’t wake up covered in sweat. Please let me fever break.

Also, Wally and I saw that Yellow Claw will be here on April 30th. The day Matt gets in and we asked him if he wanted to go and he said yes. So Wally’s birthday present is done, Yellow Claw tickets!! So excited!!!!

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Day 187:Syd’s still sick 4/18/2016

Wally

Syd still isn’t feeling all that well so I told her to take it easy. I left for work early in order to send money home. Nothing all that special to talk about in terms of work, but the new guy came in today for some observations his name is Jaco, pronounced yacu, he’s super POSITIVE. A great energy for the kids and an excellent team player. He’s loving China so far and it’s his first time in another country. I can’t wait until this city breaks him.

Sydney

Chris was awesome and only scheduled me for 3 classes today so I could try and rest. Wally and I hung out in the morning. I did not sleep at all last night I was either up coughing or sweating, it was disgusting. Wally had to leave a little early as he was sending some money home. I was skyping Bianca and Greg as he was leaving and she was finishing up her visa. YAY vacation with my loves!! We chatted and I saw her Coachella ears! They are so cute!!! I want them :(. IT was nice to talk to them again and have a longer conversation. After we finished I did some chores around the house and taught my last couple of classes. I tried to nap but I was so cold that I dug through the suitcase and found the onesie and napped in that. I was only able to sleep for about an hour. Man, this fever is kicking my ass. I texted Wally and said good night. I took a shower and some nyquil and went to bed. I was asleep when he came home and burning up. I woke up a little bit talked for a second then went back to sleep. I was again up and down and the nyquil did not keep me asleep. At about 4am I woke Wally up0 and we decided to cancel all our plans for the weekend and stay home to see if I get better. It sucks as I was really looking forward to seeing Katie at the Friends Cafe and going on a tour of the Chocolate Factory. Oh well, next week. I really need to get better as Matt will be here next Saturday. I took an Advil PM and passed out for awhile. It did not keep me asleep for as long as I wanted but I felt more rested than I had in awhile.

Day 186: Shanghai Grand Prix 4/17/2016

Wally

Today was a whole lot of fun. I gladly called in sick and avoided yet another FULL day of work. I know that the Long Beach Grand Prix is special for both Syd and Clint so we played hookie today and went to the Shanghai Grand Prix. We didn’t have tickets to the event because they were balls expensive, but we figured that there would be some cool booths and stuff outside for us to check out. Luckily our gamble paid off and we were able to see some cool stuff and got some swag along with it. It took us about an hour and a half to get there by the metro, but it was worth it.

Afterwards we went to YuYuan to pick up 5some stuff for Matt’s welcoming gift when he comes to visit.I still wasn’t feeling at 100%, so I ended up taking a nap for a bit. We had dinner and finished up The Mummy from the previous night. Off to bed and another day tomorrow…

Sydney 

So last night my fever spiked again and I slept maybe 3 hours total. Whatever, Race Day!!!!!! So excited!! It is really cool because my dad and I are both at the races just on different continents haha. I can’t wait to hear about the Long Beach Grand Prix from him.I messaged the 2 team leads we were told to message if we are sick and one did not get back to me until I was almost about to start working and said “You need to make sure you get a response from someone or this would have been a teacher noshow.” That makes no sense I messaged you and emailed you. You are the team lead and I did my due diligence.  Brandon is a dick and everyone hates him so whatever. The metro ride out there was over an hour and a half but we figured out the line that will go to Disney and we are going to check it out one day before we go. The weather was beautiful today and so much better then the crazy thunderstorms yesterday and the last couple of days. It was a great race day. We walked around all the booths and picked up some swag and souvenirs. The tickets were just astronomical that is why we did not go in but you could hear them and that was perfect for me. We walked around for awhile but still needed to get some stuff done so we left and made our journey home. We made a stop to pick up some gifts for people and then headed home. I was really not feeling well. We got home and relaxed. Took a nap and cleaned up the apartment.

We did Skype Bianca and Greg and it was so great to see their faces! I am so excited for their visit out here. Its close yet far away. The conversation was nice and then we ordered dinner and watched some more tv.

Due to the construction downstairs out lights went on the fritz. The electrician was supposed to be here by 7 but was still not here at 7:45 so I decided to shower. Well I get out and start to get ready for bed and Wally is about to get in at 8:25 and the electrician shows up!!! Chinese time is the worst. Dude, it is 8:30, I am sick and want to go to bed.  But he comes in and fixes the bathroom lights. Also, he is too short to fix it even on our step stool so we had to bring in one of the side tables put it in the shower so he could stand on it and fix the lights. Ridiculous. Once he finished up, Wally cleaned the bathroom and we headed to bed. Hopefully I get some sleep tonight. I am just over being on deaths door.

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Day 185: Death!!!! 4/16/2016

Wally

I felt horrible for having to leave Syd this morning and head into work because she was dying from her fever. I set her up the best I could before I left, but still felt bad. Work itself wasn’t all that great especially considering I was still recovering from my own fight with the bug. Turns out it’s something that’s going around the city right now. One of my students mentioned that half their class was missing on Friday because everyone was sick. Cool…. I can say I caught the Chinese flu while we were out here. Let me tell you it’s just as bad as good ol Mercan one.

I had my two classes but they were spaced apart from very beginning to the very end. The time in between I spent finishing up Daredevil season 2 and started on Mr. Robot. So yeah super productive day…

Syd surprised me with pizza for dinner and we just ATE and watched The Mummy. I’m glad we’re calling out sick tomorrow. Originally we were just going to do that so we can go to the Shanghai Grand Prix, but now we’re actually sick…. BUT we’re still going to the Grand Prix dammit!!!

Sydney

So I was supposed to go into the office today but I am dying and have to work from home. I can barely sit up in bed I am so week. My brain is on fire and pounding. The under-boob sweat is so real and I want to drink all the water on Earth because I am so dehydrated. Wally sent up everything next to the bed and I am teaching laying down today because I can barely move. After he left I slept for a little longer then I Skyped my mom. The Dayquil finally started to work and I am feeling a little better. I have at least been able to sit up and teach at the desk. We are having crazy rain storms right now and the clouds are so dark that it looks like it is nighttime. It is pouring, windy, thunder and lightning right now.  It is so crazy. The rain is so loud that it is hard to hear my students. I tried to nap on my breaks but the construction was so loud that I ended up just chillin’ and laying on the bed trying to relax.

I ordered pizza for dinner so neither of us had to think and we watched The Mummy. Tomorrow Shanghai Grand Prix even though I feel like death, I will take so many drugs and make myself feel better at least until we get home and then I will sleep the rest of the day. We still do not have internet and no Astrill!!!! I want Netflix!!! FU CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 184: Syd’s turn 4/15/2016

Wally

I’m sick and tired of some of the kids at my school. I’ve come up with an appropriate punishment, they’ll have to stay after class writing sentences for what they’ve done wrong. Then their parents will have to sign that piece of paper AND if they fail to give it to me I’ll make them do it again and again and again. There was this one class I had today that nearly made me lose my shit. I was so upset I was visibly shaking. I’m glad I’m almost done with this place. The students aren’t motivated in any way and there isn’t a good system in place for managing student behavior.

Sydney

Nothing too exciting from me today; I worked from home. I did start to get sick today and have been throwing up. My fever spiked and I was shaking I was so cold but Wally said I was burning up. Wally took great care of me when he came home. Also, we Skyped my dad before he went to the Long Beach Grand Prix and what’s cool is Wally and I are going to the Shanghai Grand Prix on Sunday. I feel like shit and I am so over being sick! I want to be healthy so bad. These chills and heat flashes are really annoying.

During one of my classes we were talking about budgeting. In western cultures we say “I am in the black” when we are making money and are doing ok; we say “I am in the red” when we are struggling financially. Well one of my students explained that in China it is reversed, red means they are doing ok and black is they are struggling because red means wealth and good fortune in Chinese cultures. It was very interesting and I learned something new.

Day 183: Sick as a dog… 4/14/2016

Wally

Last night was brutal. I basically sweat my body weight overnight and I was dying. Syd was so sweet to me and took really good care of me. I have a wonderful wife. She even made me breakfast in bed! The morning came and went and I headed to work.

Nothing of note there other than the one PA that’s been hitting on me seems to be coming on a bit stronger now. As I’m teaching my class I see her standing by the window and just staring at me… I look up at her and make eye contact and she just stands there and smiles… This happens on multiple occasions… It’s really weird…

Sydney

I made Wally some breakfast this morning and had to do laundry since he sweat through all the sheets, pillows and his pjs. I feel so bad and I just want him to get better. I made him so breakfast in bed and gave him some medicine. While he lounged around I Skyped with Kylie and chatted. It was nice to talk before Coachella and I hope she has fun. Bianca and Kylie have been working on the Thailand doc and I wish I could see it but our internet at home is out again and we have no VPN. UGH, it is so frustrating. I am over China and their stupid internet rules. Wally headed to work and I worked from home. The construction is still going on. I did chores and got the house ready. Pretty boring day but whatever. I also booked our tour of the Zotter Chocolate Factory for next Tuesday! I am so excited we get to try over 200 different types of chocolate.  All the construction they are doing caused our bathroom lights to short out and start smoking. I really hope it gets fixed soon.

Everyone please send Wally get well thoughts.

Day 182: Last Day in Nanjing 4/13/2016

Wally

I spent the last day in Nanjing suffering from a bad fever. We left our hotel and walked the 5 min to my Great Aunt and Uncle’s place for breakfast. They bought us some dumplings for breakfast and I happily scarfed those down. After breakfast we went ahead and bought some coffee at a shop around the corner. Only problem was that it suuuuuucked, it was basically a lot of milk with an espresso shot. China seriously needs to get on our level…

Once my Uncle’s friend arrived he drove us over to the Nanjing Museum, but on the way we got rear ended by another car. The other driver had been rubbing his eyes and wasn’t paying attention. The impact wasn’t all that bad, but the shock of getting rear ended caused Sydney’s back to tense up and cramp up for the rest of the day. Since we were already close to the museum my Uncle’s friend suggested we just walk down the street, it was only a couple of blocks away. We walked around the museum for a bit, but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before, the Shanghai Museum basically had all the same things. However, Nanjing once had the tallest building in China, centuries ago, it was a porcelain pagoda tower, but it was torn down at some point. The only remaining pieces were at the museum. So, that was pretty cool to see.

Following the museum we went on a hunt for a Starbucks. We wanted to get their Nanjing cup, but the old men had no idea where we’d be able to find one. So, they gambled and took us to another popular spot in Nanjing. I have no idea what the name of it was, but it was pretty much the same as YuYuan Garden except A LOT bigger. It also has some historical significance too, back in the day scholars had to take a big test in order to work for the government and it was held at this place.

We went back to my Uncle’s and had lunch. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot that Syd liked, but she made do with what was in front of her. My family was impressed with her because she is always willing to try stuff. I explained to them that the rule is you have to try it no matter what and if you ultimately don’t like it you’ll never have to eat it again. They said that’s a good rule to follow and were impressed that a white person actually abides by it.

Our train back to Shanghai was at 2:48, or so we thought, so we had our family drop us off at the train station. When we got there we realized that it actually left at 3:48… So we just watched some shows I had downloaded on my laptop. We got on our train and left right on time, made our way home and had dinner.

I just want to mention a really interesting cultural difference. In Chinese culture family is important and is a priority. Some examples, I’ve met my Great Aunt on two occasions and my Great Uncle just once, but they treated us so freakishly well in our time in Nanjing. They made sure we saw everything we wanted to see and then some, they paid for EVERYTHING we did and they were extremely hospitable. I thanked them over and over again and they responded “It’s nothing, we’re family. It’s what we SHOULD be doing.” Additionally, when we first arrived in Shanghai the amount of trouble my uncle went through to get us our place and to make sure we were on our feet was a lot. It’s weird… If you told me that my inlaws sister’s grandchild were coming into town and you wanted me to set them up with a place to live and to show them around town I’d say F that. But family is family to Chinese people and apparently there’s this obligation to help out anyway you can.

One more thing, I want to mention that Syd is a trooper for being out here in a completely foreign land where none of the language makes any god damn sense. She sits quietly as conversations are popping off left and right and waits patiently for me to translate. I know it can’t be easy to sit around and not understand what’s going on, especially for someone who has the gift of gab. Either way it’s pretty amazing what she’s doing.

Sydney

Wally woke up feeling even worse than when he went to bed. My poor hubby is sick again, more like he never recovered and got hit again just like me during Beijing. He was burning up and he took the medicine we did have but we did not pack a lot. We got ready and headed out of the hotel and to his family’s house.  They had picked up some dumplings for breakfast. I only had a few bites I was not that hungry. Wally and I walked to the coffee shop and just had a nice stroll and a coffee before their friend picked us up for today’s adventures.

On our way to the Nanjing Museum we got into a fender bender. Some guy was rubbing his eyes and rear ended us. My back hurt so bad! We got out of the car and the friend told us to just walk to the museum and he will take care of it. Also, yipo told me to give his sunglasses back so I did =(. We walked to the museum and walked around for a while but it is basically identical to the Shanghai Museum so it was nothing really new. The coolest part was the replica of what Nanjing used to look like. There were children running and screaming everywhere!! It was crazy! No chaperones at all and some were playing tag. This would have never been allowed back home. It is so crazy to see the differences between museum etiquettes in China and the states. Once Wally and I finished up we met up with his uncle and friend.

We asked where a Starbucks was because we needed to get our Nanjing cup. They drove us all around trying to find one and we came upon this place which is their Yuyuan Garden and found one. The family friend paid for it for us because he felt bad that we had to drive around everywhere to get it. It was so nice of him.

We got back to their house and yipo had made some food. The fried rice was pretty good but definitely not as good as Wally’s. I miss his fried rice.  We sat around and ate for some time. Wally did his best to translate but it is always awkward for me not knowing what is happening and just sitting there staring until he can translate. We went to get some ice cream then came back and they took us to the train station. It was a nice visit and cool to see Nanjing. We said bye and headed inside.

So I messed up a little and thought our train was 2:48pm and nope it was 3:48 pm so we had to wait around longer but it was fine we watched some shows. Poor Wally is burning up and getting worse and worse by the minute. He really needs to get home. Plus, my back is still killing me from the accident this morning. We make it on the train and Wally falls asleep on my shoulder and I watch stuff on my tablet. The train ride was smooth and easy and this will be our last bullet train in China.  Wally was very sweet to me on the train and kept telling me how much he appreciates me and loves me. I am so lucky to have him! We got to the train station and he is sweating, cold, and burning up. One crazy thing I saw on the trip back occurred when we were slowing down at one of the stops and I looked at the underpass that was next to us and a man in a business suit was furiously masturbating, in broad daylight, in a busy street. I’m again traumatized with the amount of penises I see on a regular basis.

We catch the metro and we have not been to this section of town since we landed (it is where the hotel was that we stayed in when we first got here.) Once on the metro we finally head back home, luckily the metros we needed were not very crowded even though it was rush hour. We did a little grocery shopping before we came home then finally walked through the doors.

We unpacked and did our normal chores and had some dinner. Now just time to relax and make sure Wally gets healthy. Next weekend we are only buying shoes and going to a chocolate factory so he will be able to rest more.

This adventure was fun and it is cool to say I have been to Nanjing. Yipo and Yigong were very nice and took amazing care of us! It was so sweet and unexpected. 🙂

Also, I showered with freezing water since our water heater is apparently not working right now! It was awful. Also, I forgot to mention yesterday that all of the street cleaners that spray water in Nanjing have a song that plays when they are coming down the street, It’s A Small World After All! It was so weird!! Wally and I heard it and could not figure out where it was coming from and then the street cleaner passed us and we were both laughing so hard. Only in China.

Day 181: Nanjing 4/12/2016

Wally

We’ve had this obligation to come and see my Great Aunt while we’re out here in China and we’ve been putting it off for a bit now, but our time here is coming to a close and we need to show our faces. Our train left at 6 AM, but in order to ensure we got there on time we had a cab come and get us at 4:20 AM. We arrived at the train station no problem and we even saw a bunch of people congregating under the entrance in order to escape the rain. However, there were also a bunch of homeless people there too. No problem we’re use to that by now, but there was one shaggy looking man sitting on the floor in a woman’s red pea coat with his hands just shoved down his pants. We made sure to walk around his creepy orbit and stand and wait for the train station to open. One of the guards was making his rounds and he started to YELL at the homeless guy to get out of the station. He waddles around with the pants around his ass and his dick flopping all about. Everyone else in the station is quietly mortified as they are all pushed away by an imaginary 5 ft line that surrounded him. #justchinathings

The train ride was chill nothing really of note there. When we got to the train station we found my great aunt and uncle no problem. They had also brought a friend along with them and he served as our driver for the day. Sydney and I did nothing to plan for this trip, instead we simply told them what we’d like to see and they said it would be no problem. With my limited Chinese I was able to deduce where we would be going and some of its history. The first stop was Purple Mountain and it’s GORGEOUS!!!! It reminded me of being out in the woods near Portland. We made a few stops around the mountain that highlighted important political figures and were of historical significance. Just to give you an idea of how much Chinese I comprehend my uncle was describing an area of land that had once belonged to an emperor and there is something buried out there and it’s of some significance and it’s either treasure or the body of his son. Either way it’s important. So something important is out there and no one can find it. Yeah… That’s what I deal with knowing about 40%-70% of what they’re saying and almost never the important stuff.

The next stop was at a restaurant that served xiao long bao (steamed pork buns). They were delicious, some of the best I’ve ever had and it turns out that restaurant has been around for over 100 years! How cool is it that someone from 1916 could be magically teleported to that restaurant and eat the food without skipping a beat? Or that I’m tasting a recipe that has stood the test of time.

After lunch we went to the Nanjing Massacre Museum and holy balls is that place sobering… The holocaust museum ain’t got shit on this and Syd even went so far as to say that it was comparable to Auschwitz. For those that don’t know about the incident here is a brief history lesson. The Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanking took place in 1937 when the Japanese invaded mainland China. They took hold in Nanjing because at the time it was China’s capital. Once there the Japanese were responsible for the deaths of up to 300,000 individuals, however this number can be as low as 200,000. Some of the atrocities include, but not limited to, head chopping contests, stabbing infants, using live bodies for bayonet practice, forcing women into sexual acts, burring people alive, tying people up and drowning them in a shallow pool, forcing fathers to bury their families alive and so on. We read story after story about the cruel acts and it really sunk in that human beings are capable of some fucked up shit. The museum itself was so sobering even writing this and reflecting upon it sends chills down my spine. There is one room when you walk in, there is a portrait of an individual projected onto the wall and the space in front of it is completely blocked off. As you walk around you’ll hear a bell toll and the image will change, each image is unique, each image was a life and the person in each image died in a horrible fashion. This bell tolls all throughout the day and it rings every 10 seconds or so. They had exhibits that replicated what the homes would have looked like after the Japanese had ravaged through them. There were bodies strewn about, a woman sunken by the bed with a knife protruding from her skull, another woman on the bed stripped naked with a knife cut into her vagina. The men of the household were slumped over the table and presumably shot in the back. We saw and read firsthand accounts, one that really struck me was of a boy at the age of 11 witnessed his mother killed in front of him. She had been clinging onto his infant brother and she refused to surrender the child to the enemy forces, so they stabbed her. She finally released the baby after being stabbed over 12 times, the Japanese didn’t feel it was worth their time to finish the job so they left the mother and baby to die. Hearing his brother call out for his mom he raced over to snatch him up. However, all the baby wanted to do was to be breast fed by his mother and with her final moments she held him, fed him and died holding him. That’s not the end of this sad story either. It was so cold that by the time the boy had shaken out of shock and tried to retrieve his brother from his mother the infant had become stuck and he could not separate them, so he made the difficult decision to leave. That was ONE story of the 300,000. The statues, the exhibits were all just mind blowing. We stood over a mass grave site that contained 10,000 bodies. They had created a platform where you could walk over and look down upon all the bones and skulls.

Following that we ended up in the Presidential Palace, but by that time we were both physically and emotionally exhausted and didn’t really see what was all that special about that place. We made a quick loop around and saw nothing of real significance and that’s when it hit me. I farted and nearly shit myself. I stood there for what felt like an eternity clamping with all my might in order to avoid having an accident. I asked Syd for her tissues and made a mad dash to the restroom. I was fortunate that the facilities weren’t that bad and I evacuated my bowels in an orderly fashion. After that the rest of the day was smooth sailing.

My Aunt and Uncle had gotten us a room at what would be the Chinese equivalent of a Motel 6 less than a 5 min walk from their place. We got settled there as they cooked dinner. We went and ate a traditional Chinese meal complete with some of Syd’s favorites that my Aunt remembered from her time spent in the states with us. My uncle had asked if I like to drink and offered me Bai Jiu, basically Chinese moonshine, and I declined. Sydney on the other hand was brave enough to give it a go. She nearly downed the whole cup in a misunderstanding and as I watched her chug I swear I could see her insides glowing red hot from the liquor. We were a bit stunned at first, but realized what was happening and waved our arms frantically to get her to stop before she drank the whole thing. Luckily not that much damage was done and we enjoyed a large meal. After dinner we set off to take a quick walk around the block, my Great Aunt was really sad to know that we’re leaving tomorrow and that it could very well be the last time we ever see each other. She really loved my grandma and my grandma always spoke so highly of me. Moreover, when she had spent time in the states she saw how I cared for my grandma and how much of a caring person I could be when I consoled her after my grandma had passed. I reassured her that we’ll meet again at some point and that she shouldn’t worry. Although to be honest I don’t know when I’ll ever see her again….

Tomorrow’s yet another day in Nanjing. Today was crazy fun and informative I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

PS It’s really shitty that Syd couldn’t just enjoy herself today because of the amount of people that gawked at her and treated her like some kind of side show. I mean for fucks sake you see white people in ads and in television and movies why is it such an event when you see one in person?

Sydney

So, Wally explained what happened when we got to the train station…..well, I saw the homeless man’s private area. It was mortifying and I am still traumatized. I have seen more penises (children and adult) then I would ever want to in my life!!!! We walked around in the rain trying to figure out where to go and finally we got in line and headed upstairs to the platform. Our platform was completely pitch black! We were a little worried that we did not go to the right place but all the numbers matched up since we could not read the words and double check. About fifteen minutes before the train was going to take off they let us down and into it. People were pushing, shoving and running, even though we have assigned seats. Wally’s friend brought up a good point that Chinese people are so ingrained to be the best and to be first that it now applies to all aspects of their lives. You are going to an assigned seat on a train why do you need to be the first one on?? No one is taking your spot!! I am really starting to understand more and more of the cultural differences and it is helping Wally and me in our relationship as well. Being from 2 different worlds is so hard sometimes and this experience is putting it into perspective.

The train ride was easy peazy lemon squeezy! I watched an episode of Hawaii 5-0 and took a nap and then we were there. Wally’s family was waiting for us and they had a friend drive us around all day. We got in the car and yipo already had food for us. This salty, flaky, green onion bread concoction and regular sweet white bread. It was the perfect snack. They first drove us to Purple Mountain and we walked up to see the tomb of Dr. Sun Yet (I can’t really remember his name). When we were walking these 2 guys kept turning around and staring and pointing at me and taking pictures, I held my jacket up and stared at the ground to walk and they still would take pics, I yelled “What are you staring at? Go fuck your mom!” (in Chinese) and it was not until I called for Wally and grabbed his arm that they stopped harassing me. I am so FUCKING OVER CHINESE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, my hair was up, you could not tell it was curly; I had a jacket covering my chest, so all they were staring at was my white face. FUCK YOU!!! The walk was beautiful and the climb up we sang the Rocky theme song. Wally and I do entertain ourselves. Wally and I secretly took pics even though everyone was getting yelled at for doing so, whatever YOLO! Next, they took us to another garden to see the Ming and Qing Dynasty buildings and apparently there is a son of an emperor buried in the land but no one has been able to find it. When we came down from the building Wally’s uncle bought us some ice cream. It was so tasty and a perfect treat. I like anyone that buys me ice cream for no reason at 10am.

Now as a side note I want to thank/praise my amazing husband for constantly translating even though he only understood about 40% of the conversation. He was doing his best and really trying and I thank him for kind of keeping in the loop as to what was going on.

After the garden and building we went to get lunch. I was feeling car sick so I fell asleep until we got to the restaurant. We went and had the most amazing xiao long bao I have ever had in my life. What is cool about the place we went to is that it is over 100 years old. The food was amazing!! Yipo bought us cokes to drink and their friend also went to the market next door and bought more cokes so all of a sudden 4 colas are sitting in front of us and I just wanted something, anything really to drink. HAHAHA oh Chinese people.  Wally’s uncle also bought me a cute new big floppy hat.

We left lunch and they took us to the Nanjing Massacre Museum, the full name of the museum is, The Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese Forces. The pictures along will show you how power these statues were. The museum was intense and really hard to take in. It was very powerful and reading some of the survivor stories made me gag a little and want to cry. It was a powerful but amazing museum for how it was done. Another, fucking Chinese person story, as we were entering the museum I felt a touch on my shoulder, I thought it was my purse strap so I smack my shoulder and shook it off and I felt it again; a woman was touching my shoulder with just her pointer finger and smiling and having her son take a picture of the whole thing. Again, I reiterate I FUCKING HATE MAINLAND CHINESE PEOPLE!!!!! I shook my head said get the fuck off of me and called for Wally. I was almost in tears. I hate this feeling, I hate being touched and Chinese people are assholes. I got more stares today they I have in the whole time we have been here. I thought Shanghai was bad and Nanjing is 1000 times worse. When we left the museum we were supposed to meet up with Wally’s uncle but we could not find him, Wally got a security guard and used his phone and we were able to get in touch with him and he met up with us. Also, as we were walking out of the museum a grandmother was holding her grandson between her knees and he was taking a man size shit on the sidewalk on the museum property. Why is this accepted? Ok, maybe in the bushes or a random street corner and even that to me is wrong but at a museum of a massacre?!?!?! WTF?!?!?! It was disgusting and just baby penis out and a man size shit on the ground. Just China things, always.

I complimented the drivers sunglasses and he handed them to me, I thought to see them and try them on, and he said no keep them. Then he handed me the case. It was so strange. HAHA

Next stop, the Presidential Palace. It was not that impressive; we walked around and just found a bench and talked for a little. Wally has a funny bathroom story and while he was in there I had another couple stare, this time the husband stopped turned around gawked, ran and got his wife and camera and pointed and took pictures while I tried to hide behind a pillar and they kept trying to get a shot. Even Wally noticed more how people were staring. We walked back to his uncle and we headed home for dinner.

His aunt and uncle got us a hotel room for the night on the street right behind theirs so we are close. The room works and serves its purpose since we are only here one night. We walked back to their house for dinner and we had some hong shao rou (my favorite). Also, his uncle poured me a glass of baijiu, I died. There was a miscommunication and I thought he wanted me to drink the whole thing right then (you are supposed to sip on it), I went from sober to drunk in about 2 seconds. Mind you we had not eaten in a while either and I was thirsty. Whatever it was funny.  We finished dinner and his uncle took us for a walk around the neighborhood. He stopped in KFC and got us ice cream sundaes. Again, I love ice cream and this was a perfect after dinner treat. We walked around the mall and then walked home to get ready for tomorrow.

We had set our bar so low that everything exceeded our expectations. It was a great day and now I am going to sleep.

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Day 180: Beautiful Shanghai Sky 4/11/2016

Wally

Sydney

We woke up and skyped my mom for a while and were able to talk to ET for a little bit as well. Nice to say hey and chat. Wally and I decided to go for a breakfast date and just enjoy each others company. We went to Mr. Pancake and it was so tasty. We stopped at forever 21 and Wally got a fun new outfit. It is so corny and ridiculous but it will be good for traveling and Coachella next year. I got a couple new tank tops.

The weather was beautiful today and the air was so clear. You could actually breathe outside and it was refreshing!

We came home and chatted with Matt for a long time until his phone died. I can’t believe he will be out here in just a couple of weeks. So exciting!!! Once his phone died it actually tuned out to be perfect timing as Wally had to go to work and my class was about to start. I applied to a lot more jobs today and watched some Netflix, Construction is still going on but we will be gone tomorrow so I do not have to hear it for a few days.

We had a really good workout and all I keep thinking about are my bathing suits and shorts!!! We got this! Off to Nanjing tomorrow.

Day 179: Mom and Ralphies recap 4/10/2016

Wally

So… The last couple of days this one PA had been blatantly hitting on me. She’ll say things like you’re nice to look at, you’re very cute or you have a nice body. It’s really kind of awkward cause she’s coming onto me REAL strong and she has a boyfriend and I’m pretty sure she knows I have a wife. I mean it’s kind of flattering, but still kind of weird. Is this how women feel when they’re being hit on?

Sydney

Construction is still going on and it is still annoying. At least the jackhammering stopped and I was able to work from home. The work servers kept crashing so I has having trouble staying logged on but whatever everyone was having problems. I packed most of our stuff for Nanjing. I am excited to explore another city. So many adventures.

Pretty boring day, just work and stayed home. Wally and I did our Jillian Michaels yoga and it was intense. Watched some more HOuse Hunters and talked a lot of shit. Off to bed.

Side Note – I am glad Bianca and Greg enjoyed the LA Kiss tickets. I am so soad since I found out Scary SPice was at the game. OMG I would have stalked the shit out of her. I am sad we lost. I am happy

Mom and Ralphie finally sent us their last posts please see below 🙂

Loranna

I know we are a couple weeks late for adding to the blog, but as everyone knows, once you get home from vacation, life has been crazy busy….but we promised Sydney and Wally we would add our last two cents to the blog about the rest of our trip so here goes….

Beijing – Wally and Sydney told you most of the specifics about our time there.  The most significant experience for me was The Great Wall….it was truly magnificent to see!!!  As far as your eye could see on either side you saw the wall and the watchtowers on each hill top…just AWESOME!!!! To be able to stand on one of the great modern Wonders of the World was pretty humbling and overwhelming at the same time.  There were a few times when I would look at Syd, Wally and Ralph and just think, NEVER in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being here with my firstborn and our husbands…WOW!!!

The Forbidden City was not what I expected but still very cool to see something that is hundreds of years old.  Some of the statues, carvings and murals were very impressive, but the artifacts in the buildings were very dusty and appeared to not be taken care of for things that are so delicate.  It was very crowded and I was surprised the buildings, antiquities, furniture and tapestries appeared to not be taken care of, preserved, as delicately as I thought they would have been for such iconic treasures of China.

The Olympic Park was even better to see in person.  The Birds nest appeared so much larger in person than any other stadium I have ever seen in my life.  The construction of it was truly impressive, as well as, the other buildings in the Park.  I was sorry we couldn’t see the dragon shaped waterways, but still was impressed that they built them.

The Bullet Train was great!!!  I expected it to be like a regular train ride, but there was no jarring or back and forth movement… So smooth, quiet and roomy.  I would soooo ride it again!!!

Return to Shanghai – Our last day we tried the street food and, overall, I liked the items we ate. We visited the YuYuan Gardens which was my favorite thing we did in Shanghai.  The gardens, architecture, murals, carvings, dragons, walls, furniture, etc. were just beautiful.  The whole area was so peaceful even though there were other people around.  Great way to end our trip!!!!

Overall Impressions – Ralphie and I both feel this is probably in our top three trips we have ever taken in our lives. We never would have picked China as our first international trip, but since we will always travel to see our children, no matter if they are in a different city, state or, in this case, a country across the world, we will go.  This was a once in a life time opportunity and it was so worth it!!!

Finally, I have to mention how great it was to spend so much time with Wally and Sydney.  This was the most continuous time we have spent with both of them…EVER.  Usually it is a few hours here or there for meals or family functions since they are adults and live on their own.  It was wonderful to see and feel the love and respect they have for each other.  It was a great bonding trip for all four of us and I am very excited to spend more time with them when they return from their travels!!!  Wally and Sydney – I truly want to thank you for showing us a great time, for being gracious hosts and for sharing your experiences with us.  I love you and am so very proud to be your mom (and white mother) J !!!!

Ralphie

On vacation, you think you have all kinds of time to write a blog about your adventures, and then you come home and 2 weeks pass, and you still haven’t written a thing!

I won’t recap the whole thing, but the experience its self was amazing.  Having never been outside of the United States, having this be my first experience makes me look forward to things in the future even more.  Having been in China it is still difficult to wrap my head around.  From the minute we landed it was an adventure, the lack of being able to guess what most of what the signs said impressed upon us that we weren’t in Kansas anymore!

For the next week, it was a whirlwind of new and exciting experiences.  The breakfast burritos, the fluffy buttholes and everything else we ate.  After a few days of the new “flavors” it grew on me, Loranna not so much, but I can’t wait for Syd and Wally to come home, so Wally can take us to hot pot.

Sydney and Wally were great tour guides and kept us on the go, so we made sure that we had our exercise every day.  I feel like we had the whirlwind tour of Shanghai and hit the highlights of Beijing.  It is hard to comprehend just how small Shanghai would have been when I graduated high school (1988) and now, everything is just so tall, I had a stiff neck looking up at the tops of the buildings!  Seeing the commercialization of hundreds of years old buildings was depressing.  Communism hasn’t stopped McDonalds or Starbucks from setting up shop in a temple!

Traveling to Beijing was so much fun, and not to disparage the kid’s apartment, but it was nice to sit in a chair and take the world’s best shower.  The unexpected experience at the 08 Olympics site seeing just how big the Olympic Park and Birds Nest was, was incredible.  Of course, the highlight of the whole thing was the Great Wall.  I can’t even explain the magnitude of seeing this in person.  It makes we want to travel more, just to see some of the things you only see in books (well internet now I guess!).

I know that this trip will be one of the most memorable events in my life.  I don’t know where we will go in the future, but I will always remember China and seeing it with Sydney and Wally.