May 28th was our one year date of arriving in China. Wow! The things I have seen, experienced and learned in the last year. I sometimes wonder what I did to deserve so many wonderful blessings.
One Year ago ~ May 31, 2014
There are so many things I want to write of our experiences here and in the other parts of Asia we have visited, but for this post, our 1 year anniversary of living here, I want to share my thoughts on something else. The things I miss about the USA.
Of course I miss my family, especially
holding my new grandbabies and playing with the older grandchildren. I miss being at family events like births, birthdays, reunions, school functions, dance recitals, choir and orchestra concerts, etc. but this is more about the "things" I missed.
CHEESE: We had only lived in China a few days when we realized there was no cheese. Not in any of the restaurants or grocery stores we visited. This, to say the least, was a shock to our systems as Darryl and I would eat cheese with almost every meal. We have since found a store that sells cheese but it is a 45 min. bus ride away, so cheese is now a very rare treat for us.
GRASS: I love having a lawn. I like to walk barefoot in it, play with the grandkids in the grass, mow it, smell it. There are lots of gardens and trees and flowers, but no lawns. Luckily we do have a few small patches of grass at the apartments, nothing big enough to sit on or play in, but I do like the smell when they cut it.
STEAK AND GOOD MEATS: T-Bone, Ribeye, Sirloin, Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, Porterhouse, hamburger, Pork Chops, Ribs, Baked Ham, Ball Park Franks (Yes, I love a good hot dog!), Tenderloin, BBQ Brisket, and much, much more. Most meat in the restaurants are just cooked chunks to be eaten with Chopsticks. When I go to buy meat, it hangs from hooks at the market and if you want some they just hack off a hunk. No choice of what you get, just a hunk of meat. I can't wait to get a good grilled steak!
WELL MADE PRODUCTS AND CONSTRUCTION: We live in a pretty new city, only ten years old, but so much of it is not well made or well maintained. We see buildings, artwork, walks and parks falling apart before our eyes. It is sad to see really. There is so much potential here if they would just pay attention to detail and fix a problem when it arises. Alas, that is not the way things are done. Also, some of their building techniques are just plain scary.
BLONDES, BRUNETTES and REDHEADS: We live in a City of nearly 100,000 people. There are approximately 20 foreigners living here full time. 17 work for Dome Technology. We definitely stand out in a crowd. Of course we are treated like celebrities too, people always taking photos or wanting photos with us. But I sure miss the variety of the human race that we have in the USA!
DRIVING: We are not allowed to drive in China so we have drivers, taxi's, take buses or walk wherever we want to go. I finally got a bicycle for Mothers day to make things go a little faster, but I will be so happy to have a car to go where I want. The drivers here are not as skilled as one might think, and a lot more reckless or careless than I would have imagined. Sometimes our 1 1/2 hour ride to and from work is downright terrifying.
A REAL MATTRESS: Our mattress is a pretty hard box spring with an egg crate foam pad over top. I shouldn't complain though, at least I'm not sleeping on a pad of the floor.
UNREGULATED INTERNET: This is a big one. You don't know how good you have it until it's gone. The Great Firewall of China is real!
PHONE CALLS: I can and do have phone service, but it's expensive so I use it sparingly. I do miss the voices of my children and family and our very frequent, almost daily, visits we had on the phone.
MY KITCHEN: 4 burner stove with large oven, large counters, beautiful sink, and everything that makes it my perfect kitchen.
OLD GLORY: I miss seeing the Stars and Stripes flying high as I would drive through cities and towns, or see it flying in front of a patriot's home.
THE FELLOWSHIP OF CHURCH: We have a great branch with wonderful teachers and instructors. We meet each Sunday on Skype, Darryl and I in our living room and the other 100+ members in their homes, but I really miss the fellowship of being with other people of faith, especially as we sing the hymns!
With everything that I miss, I also understand that anything worthwhile requires a sacrifice, and in this instance, sacrificing all of these things has been totally worth it. Inner Mongolia is wonderful and beautiful, I have expanded my education beyond anything I could have learned by reading or studying, I have made good friends and will miss many things about this wonderful place when I am back home in Idaho, but I will also have wonderful memories of those things to make me smile.