Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Is Coming Early This Year...

Literally since we are six* seven hours ahead of France (home of Celine's parents), twelve (always!) hours of Saint Barth' (home of Celine's sister), thirteen* fourteen hours of Omaha, Nebraska (home of Jeff’s mom) fourteen* fifteen hours of Denver, Colorado (home of Jeff’s dad) and even a whopping fifteen* sixteen hours of San Diego, California (home of Jeff’s brother!)

Well in fact this is all hypothetical since we will be in the States so we will celebrate X-mas later there that we would have if we had stayed where we were!!!! On a bright side it will still be 2006 and China will already be in 2007 (in fact it doesn’t really change anything for them since their big New Year (aka Chinese New Year for you!!!) will be February 19th

Seasons Greetings
to you all!!!

*that all DST is not quite integrated yet since here it’s still GMT+8!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's Only -2°C (30°F), Let's Go To The Market..

As we were doing some late Christmas shopping last night (Thank you Ayi for taking care of the kids!!) we were strolling down Wangfujing (a popular pedestrian shopping area in downtown Beijing, not far from the Forbidden City) when we stumbled upon the Night Market we’ve heard so much about.

So many delicacies, we couldn’t decide which one to try first….

So we decide NOT to try any!!!

Note: I just found out about this website for the slide show... I promise to stop using it, well at least until next year!!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Chinese: Check...

…Let's Do Russian

So we’ve been here 3 ½ months now and bargaining in Chinese it’s pretty much down to perfection. It goes somewhere like this:

  • Me: 这个要多少钱 - zhe ge yao duo shao qian ? (this/need/how much/money)
  • Lady: Very good price for you, 300
  • Me: 我不露有我住在北京 - wo bu luyou, wo zhu zai Beijing (me/not/tourist/me/live/beijing)
  • Lady: Special price for you because you speak good Chinese, 100
  • Me: 我给你十 - Wo gei ni 10 (me/give/you/10)
  • Lady: You are killing me, 80
  • Me: OK 15
  • Lady: 50
  • Me: Here’s 20, do you want my 20 or not?
  • Lady: Ok Ok 20. I swear I don’t make any money on this one.
  • Me: Yeah right… So don’t sell it to me!
  • Lady: Here’s my card… come back. Always good price for you.

So I've decided to challenge myself a little and go to the Russian market.

How thoughtful of them, they translated the Chinese Characters!!!

The only problem I had in this market was that they kept on speaking to me in Russian. I know I’m not the Asian type but... Russian ?!!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Labor IS Cheap

Today with my Chinese class we went to a market to practice what we’ve been preaching learning: Bargaining

Well it turned out that this particular store hand makes their silk comforters and it was really interesting to see. You can see more or less the process on the slide show below. It takes between 80 layers (for a summer quilt) to 160 for a winter one.

Cindy: I need to find a few more addresses before you come but at least I’ve finally found one!!!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

You Call That Skiing?

Knowing that I:

  • ­ Come from the French Alps (and learned to ski at not even 3 years old)
  • ­ Lived in Colorado (where the Mountains are almost as good as Europe)
  • ­ Even skied in the Andes (That would be in August)
Don’t you think it’s sad that Chloe as to learn to ski here:

Well she’s enjoying herself and that’s all it counts