Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm a Local

A lot of my 'big moments' in China tend to happen in the supermarket. Yesterday was no different. Michael and I find ourselves going to Wu Mart at least twice a week. (We both like milk, and they only come in 950 ml containers here...). We are used to people stopping to look into our grocery cart to see our selections. For some reason they are really intrigued by our food choices, although I feel they are not that strange - milk, oatmeal, yogurt, vegetables and rice. So I thought nothing of it when an older lady stopped to peak into our cart. But then she started pointing at my oatmeal and speaking in Chinese (which brings me to another point I must tell you about in a minute). Apparently, she was asking me - ME- where she could find something in the supermarket. I have taken this as an indicator of one of two things - either I've been in China too long (as now I'm giving directions to the native Chinese), or I've just been here long enough to be accepted as a local. Either way, it was nice to feel like the one who knew her way around for once.

Now my other observation. It has now gotten to the point that I can carry on a conversation with the people here, and I don't just mean English speakers. I don't even mean that I am speaking in Chinese. My Mandarin is very poor. I only know enough to order food and tell a taxi where to drop me off. I am speaking of instances where a Chinese person is speaking in Chinese while I am speaking in English, and somehow we are able to understand each other. For instance, Michael and I regularly go to the same selection of restaurants. The last time we went to one of our favorites, I went in and got our table while Michael went next door to get a drink. The waitress recognized me and began speaking in Chinese. I responded, "Oh, he's coming. He went next door to get a drink." And then she saw Michael coming in and nodded - maybe not knowing exactly what I said, but getting the general idea. Again, this could be representing one of the two options mentioned above.


  1. You are a lie. You are not currently in between books. You are reading Without Remorse by Tom Clancy. Although this was a fantastic piece of bloggery, I am ashamed of your dishonesty and hereby order you in the name of all that is good and holy in this marriage to turn from your wickedness to the light of truth. Amen.

  2. YEAH!! I just discovered your blog, that makes me soo happy! I love reading this.
    everyone (ESPECIALLY ME) still miss yall as much as always! It's so good to hear about your new life China. Love you!

  3. Love ya'll and miss you :) Praying for you daily.

  4. Hi, Kris! I love reading your blog and keeping up with how you're doing in China. It sounds like things are exciting for y'all. Reading about your adventures there reminds me of my short visit there during college. I'll always remember your mom wandering into some restaurant kitchen and, with only gestures, convincing the Chinese man to let her use his flour, oil, and wok to make unleavened bread for the Lord's Supper! Take care and keep blogging.