Saturday, August 15, 2015

So About China

I wrote this post waaaay back in the day before I left for America and didn't get a chance to publish it before my trip. So its a little outdated on the stories but I wanted to share this information in case you have a burning desire to learn more about China. 



Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some exploring in the city. My brother and cousin who were visiting, the hubs, Jack, Addy, and I trekked across the city in the rain in an attempt to see some museums. In a rookie move I forgot to check the days that the museums were open and the first museum we got to was closed on Mondays. I'm so frustrated with myself, because I checked the website later and there it was, plain as day, "Closed on Mondays". In English. Probably Chinese too but I can't use the excuse that I couldn't understand what it said. Not to be discouraged, the boys were happy to find a small restaurant selling questionable meat on a stick and steamed buns.



We finally got a taxi and headed across the city yet again to check out the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Museum, full of posters from the last century, especially the Cultural Revolution. This was especially interesting to me since I just finished reading "Life and Death in Shanghai" by Nien Cheng, the autobiography of a woman who was unjustly imprisoned and tortured in the 1960s all because she had ties with the West. The book helped me understand China's recent history and gave me compassion for the Chinese people. Its hard to believe the effect that the events of that time had on an entire generation of people. Many cultural behaviors we see now (getting things through your personal connections, only looking out for yourself in public settings thus the pushing and shoving in any crowded situation, the one child policy that created a generation of "little emperors") are a result of the cultural and social upheaval of that time period. I'm no historian and perhaps thats not completely accurate but it does seem like the entire modern culture was shaped by the things that took place.

There are several other books on my list to read before I leave China. Unfortunately it can take me months to finish one book these days, as opposed to a day or two in my past (read pre-kids) life. Besides reading the amazing Lisa Snow novels, here's whats on my list:

Insepctor Chen series (by Qiu Xiaolong-I've read "A Case of Two Cities)
The Good Earth Triology (by Pearl S. Buck)
Stateless in Shanghai (by Lillian Willens)
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (by Leslie T. Chang)
Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the 21st Century (by Orville Schell and John Delury)
China Airborne (by James Fallows)
The Ugly American (by Eugene Burdick)
Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love (by Xinran)
1421: The Year China Was Discovered (by Gavin Menzies)

Honorable mentions to Last Train Home and Somewhere Between documentaries.

And I'm sure there are many more, but these are a good place to start.

Have you read any of these? Have anything to add to the list? I'd love to know!

I'm back...Literally I'm back in China

Hello you poor, neglected little blog baby. My precious...

Oh wait, did I say that out loud? Well I'm pretty drugged up on a bad case of pneumonia + back-to-China blues + summer is almost over + my house full of friends and family is suddenly just full of us + whine + whine + plus a bad case of feeling sorry for myself.



We had a FANTASTIC time visiting America.



Blue skies, fresh air, driving, car seats, good food, friends, family, Disneyland.



What more can I say?






Unfortunately I didn't bring my computer and didn't get to blogging sans keyboard, thus my sadly neglected little blog. If my blog was a baby and I was its mother, I'm pretty sure social services would not be happy with me (take it from a former foster/adoption social worker).

Anyhoo, I would love to know what you've been reading this summer. Favorite blogs, books, magazines? Cuz I know you have a lot of time for leisure reading. I sure do.

This may be old news but I recently discovered this blog and am loving all her tutorials. She's my hairspiration.

I'm sure everyone in the world knows about this blog but I just discovered her and I'm obsessed. She's helping me get my mojo back.

Also helping me get my mojo back are these ladies.

I'm loving what my friend Monica is posting over at her blog about mom self care.

This summer I took an online phone photography class. I haven't had a lot of chances to practice what I learned since I usually am juggling babies and such but it was really informative and she is a fantastic photographer. She also has an online DSLR course, which I'd love to take if I had a DSLR.


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