Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good, Bad and Just Different

One of the things that Stan and I discussed before coming here was the difference in things being "bad" and things being "just different". We were preparing ourselves for things we knew we would encounter in our new home and the attitude that we wanted to work on having. There are of course good things....which are just that....good. There are also bad things and some things are truly bad. However, although it is easy (or lazy) to stick things in the bad category we wanted to challenge ourselves to question our judgement and ask...."or is it just different from what we are accustomed to?" This seems to be a prevalent attitude among many of us-if it's not the way we are used to then it's bad or wrong.
So in the interest of our attitude adjustment, here are my first categorizations after 1 week here in China.

Good: Smelling and then seeing a Subway Sandwich Shop--yeah for lunchtime!
Bad: Opening Xan's bag of cheetos to discover they are steak flavored (see.... that is just bad).

Good: Discovering wonderful pastries at a local bakery (the Chinese don't bake at home so bakery was awesome!!)
Bad: Discovering that said pastries are way too cheap.

Good: Finding the neighborhood market where the locals shop.
Different: Realizing the locals don't really see a need to refrigerate large hunks of meat accompanied by a meat clever....help yourself (or did they see the need to separate it from the produce......yep...right next to the apples)

Good: Meeting new friends from all over the world.
Different: Being humbled by the fact that I only know one language....seriously these ladies were each fluent in at least 3. (and their kids in 2)

Good: An apartment with great furnishings, an oven and western style bathrooms.
Different: The crazy amount of paperwork involved. (81 page lease)

Good: The view from a 27th floor hotel room....amazing.
Bad (yes just plain BAD): Realizing the Chinese don't see that locks on windows are necessary. (I truly had a meltdown moment on this one. I had to go into the bathroom and cry b/c Xan had been playing all around this wall of windows and the "could have's" overwhelmed me and literally made me sick to my stomach) Thank you GOD for your protection!!!

Good: A job for my husband that doesn't require his presence before 9am. :)
Different: A company car and driver coming to get him and bringing him home each day.

Good: The thoroughness of the physical exams Stan and I received, compliments of the Chinese govt, in order to obtain the proper Visas allowing us to remain in country for extended time period.
Different: The rapid succession/various rooms/number of people used to complete those exams. Seriously....we each had xrays, ekgs, sonograms, blood work, and eye exams in less than 40 minutes total.

Good: Taking a taxi to "the walmart" here in Suzhou.
Different: Discovering that it was on the ground floor of a 4 story shopping mall and that the meat department contained live snakes and dried fish (smelled yummy as I know you can imagine) :)

Good: A new friend's advise on which milk to purchase.
Different: Purchasing it in chicken-stock type boxes from the non refrigerated grocery aisle. We haven't tasted it yet but I'll keep you posted.

So.....here's to continuing our attitude adjustment. I'll keep making notes on the differences and share them with you. I totally plan to include pictures when I can. I'm hoping that our internet connection at our apartment will be helpful with that process as opposed to the connection we have here at the hotel.

Talk to ya later--

Here's a picture that I'm sure the grandparents have been hoping for. This is on the playground equipment outside our apartment.


Lori said...

L-O-V-E the picture!!!!! SO CUTE! And loved today's post. Very interesting stuff......I truly couldn't handle the "live snakes" in the meat dept though. Ugghhhh!

Kimberly Adams said...

Totally agree on steak cheetos and non-locking windows being bad....but would have to move live snakes at the wal-mart to bad and not just different...just sayin'...:) Miss you!

pauline said...

we just watched the second half of Wild China 2, if you haven't seen it--it is awesome & they showed the snake restaurants---- yuk. There is a Wild China 1 also---superb scenery and so informative. lol xoxo

Jenny said...

Megan!! Hope you're strarting to feel adjusted - I know it's a LONG process. I thought of you this moring when Andy called me to say his boss wants to send us back to Italy possible this summer. I guess you just never really know where God will take you in this lifetime... Thank you for your faithfullness. I can't wait to get to know you better through your blog. And YEA for pictures!! I'm glad you figured it out! Take care.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff here and I'm impressed with what you consider different as opposed to BAD...some of it I think you're a bit off! HA!

As for the picture of sweet Xan I know the grandparents are thrilled and so are KK and Grampa!

Love you so much...have you figured out how to have verbal communication with us yet?


we are the spencers said...

great post! i like your attitude. it is good to look at things as different rather than bad. so good to talk to you this morning! love the picture of xan. can't wait to see many more!

Anonymous said...

WOW! What an experience! I do miss China so much some days but then as I drive to work and not have to worry about being hit by a bus or hitting someone on a bike or scooter, I am grateful. Yet, I am envious of what you guys are able to do. Can't wait to hear more of your adventures. I have to look up Suzhou on our China map.

Looking forward to more posts.