Page 2 of Staci and Martin Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen June 11th 2010

Just a recent random thought (after all, it is a blog right?) I've (Martin) had..... Never in our lives have we had so little control of our day to day outcomes. Sure, we implore certain measures to increase the chance of successful outcomes, but with no native language ability, and a general unfamiliarity of the ways of this country, we have had to just put our entire TRUST in the process. TRUST. Putting trust in people and things we have never met or experienced before. TRUST. I can't tell you how many times we've been put in a car (not against our will or anything) and taken somewhere. Most times we have a good sense of where we will end up, like our Chinese class that meets twice a week for instance. Often we have different ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai June 4th 2010

Today, we flew to Shanghai from Shenzhen on China Eastern Airlines. Like all the flights we’ve taken out of Shenzhen Airport, our flight was delayed by about an hour, but luckily had no other problems. We were even given a pretty decent meal on board. Take that, airlines in the USA! We landed at Shanghai Pudong International Airport close to 2pm, and immediately made our way towards the metro, as it is newly expanded to reach all the way out to the airport, a good hour journey away from the city. You could tell the metro was brand new- it was sparkling clean and even smelled good! J It only cost us 7 RMB (1 USD) to go all the way from the airport to our final stop, which was amazing. The Shenzhen metro is currently ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen June 3rd 2010

We're really starting to be slackers with our blog entries! Life here is pretty much the same as usual. Since the last blog, we've just been spending time with friends, going to Chinese classes and doing our final lessons for the year. As of today, we MIGHT be done teaching. We're off for the next 5 days due to it being the weekend and then GAO KAO-- the dreaded, HUGE, college entrance exam for students in China. If you thought the SAT was bad, come visit a Chinese high school for the couple months leading up to Gao Kao. It's intense. So many students won't get accepted to a school of their choosing, or to a school at all, and they've been stressed to the max preparing for it. During the three test days, all of ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen May 18th 2010

The following is a combination of things past participants in our program have written, as well as other expats living in China...I only kept the ones that make us laugh the hardest/resonate with us the most. I know a lot of it might not make sense to you all, but it's a good reminder for us of things we've become to used to this year...:) You Know You've Lived In China Too Long When... - You no longer pick up your tray at McDonald's - You have difficulty eating with a fork - NOTHING phases you - Without thinking you cover your mouth and nose when the bus drives by - You can do the Chinese squat while carrying random electronics and talking on your cell phone - You can tell the difference between stinky tofu ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen May 11th 2010

Well, the goodbye process has officially begun. A bit early, perhaps, but there's no doubt these next months will fly by. Martin and I realized we have only 2 more lessons with each class, maybe even less if our schedules get all jumbled up (as they so often do), so we've started telling our students when we're leaving. June 15th marks the end of our 'contract' with the school, but I doubt we'll actually teach up until that day. We just booked flights for an end of the year trip-- we fly to Kuala Lumpur late on the 15th, then train down to Singapore for a few days, fly over to Bali in Indonesia, back to KL and then back to Hong Kong on the 30th! We'll have just a few more days at our school ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei May 6th 2010

Rather than write a short blog entry for each day, I'll just re-cap our entire trip for you. The overall gist? We had an incredible time, ate delicious food and could really see ourselves living in Taiwan someday. The city was just that great. Either we were REALLY tired everyday or our bodies just don't know what to do in super dark basement rooms. We slept in until 10am each morning, something we rarely do...unless we've been awake until 5am. But we'd gone to bed at a fairly decent hour and still managed to snooze for a long, long time. Our hostel dorm room was underground, so there was no natural light, and the rest of our roommates did seem to stay up fairly late. The hostel was pretty full, surprisingly for a random middle of ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei April 28th 2010

Yesterday was a LONG day. We got up at 5am to say goodbye to my Dad, who was able to catch a ride with our school driver to downtown Bao'an (the district of Shenzhen we live in) and then a taxi the rest of the way to take a ferry directly to the Hong Kong Airport. We were worried about him, naturally, but he made it without any hitches and got online at the Airport before his flight to inform us about the trip there. It was a trip of more fantastic memories and laughs, and I'm so glad he was able to come see our life here for a second time! I know he has truly gained an appreciation for China and its people. During my dad's trip here, we learned that our students would ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen April 27th 2010

Whew, life has been busy! Sorry for the lack of updates, but at least I can say I warned you. :) Prepare yourself for a LOT of writing...I'll try to separate this out into more than one blog later. The past three weeks really sped by. I spent 4 days in Beijing with my dad and sister, took a 24 hour train ride down to Shenzhen, 3 days at our home, 3 more days in Hong Kong, saw my sister off at the Hong Kong Airport, worried like a parent while my parent was traveling in China on his own, taught a little, celebrated my birthday multiple times and finally saw my Dad off this morning. Three weeks certainly seems like a long time when you're thinking about taking a vacation but it somehow felt like ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen April 7th 2010

Well, you'll soon see a hiatus in the blogging due to more visitors from the USA! My dad and sister land in Beijing tomorrow evening! I teach one class in the morning and then will take my own 3 hour flight north to meet up with them. We'll sight-see in Beijing for 4 days (Great Wall, of course) and then do the same 23 hour train trip back to Shenzhen that Martin and I did at the beginning of this year. It'll be a great bonding experience for the three of us and a wonderful way for them to see a little bit more of China than what Shenzhen offers. I can't wait! This past weekend was full of random China adventures and lots of laughter. We'd been hoping to go out of town, as we ... read more

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen April 1st 2010

Happy April 1st! Our time here is getting shorter and shorter by the minute, and we're definitely starting to feel the crunch to see everything we had hoped to before heading back to the States. Some mornings I wake up, mistakenly think I'm in Seattle and can't wait to hop out of bed and drive to go get coffee. It's then that I remember where I am and that the closest thing I'll get to that is a walk down six flights of stairs to buy a bottled Nescafe drink from the school market. It's interesting to look back on what we thought we'd miss and what we're really missing. I've missed food a lot more than I expected I would, and haven't been homesick for family as much as I thought I might be. I ... read more

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