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Two words: Krispie Kreme.
lizzybennet: (dear tom)
Today we went to the open-air market right across the street from our apartment. We bought apples, corn, grapes and tomatoes. Once I got them home, I realized that I had a few problems. I was told that I need to peel all the fruit we eat and blanch all the veggies we eat. Um, I don't want to peel every little grape. And blanched tomatoes? We tried to have the corn for dinner tonight and it was more like cow feed quality. Lol, we have so much to learn when it comes to eating here. I am determined to learn to cook while we live here. The other wife and I are hoping to take a cooking class together.

While we were at the market, we saw a beggar sitting on a mat. He had what appeared to be a severely burned leg. We've seen disfigured beggars every time we go out. Yesterday it was a man with elephantitis. These unfortunate people leave a big impression on Zack. The very first person we saw was at the Nanjing train station. She was a woman with one arm amputated. She was pretty aggressive in her begging. Zack began crying. We've explained to him that many people here don't have the access to medical care that we do in America. It's pretty sad.

The city is such a contrast. In some respects it is prosperous and clean with bright colors and lights adorning modern buildings. But if one were to turn down a side street, there is a dead mouse in the street and the smell of fecal matter. I understand why Chinese don't wear their shoes inside now. They don't want to track in all that yuck from outside. We've become pretty fanatical about making sure the boys take their shoes off the minute they step inside.

It's a little surreal to see for myself all the Chinese habits that I've always heard about. For example, bad driving; Yes, I think we've all heard about the crazy driving of many Asian drivers. I knew to expect this. Still, when I'm sitting in a cab and he's swerving into oncoming traffic, my heart races. Everyone also honks. All the time. The other day I was walking in a pedestrian area and something behind me honked. I jumped about three feet in the air and scurried to get out of the way. It was a security golf cart. Of course, no one else around me even flinched when they heard the honk. I also know that it's not considered taboo (is that the word I'm looking for?) for women or even men to hold hands as they stroll along. Yet, every time I see a couple of young women walking hand in hand, it surprises me. I suppose soon enough all of this will be commonplace and no longer catch my attention. But for now, it is still novel.

The whole family took a nap this afternoon. Finally, the boys didn't sleep through supper! Perhaps we are finally recovering from our jet lag? Tomorrow we're going to one of the historical sites around town. Chris needs to scope these sites out so he can decide how to incorporate them into his classes.

Cheerio

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lizzybennet

April 2011

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