Jun
30
2011

It Will Make You Cry

bya Gabrielle at 2:33 PM

In the past, I have received some very nice emails from students thanking me for teaching them, but the following thank you letter probably takes the cake, the icing, and the candles.  It made my  eyes water.  The student sent it to me and asked me to correct it, but I have left it in it’s original form.  It seems to be more powerful that way.  If you are an emotional person, I highly suggest you grab a tissue before you continue reading.

Got your tissue?  Okay, keep reading.

Dear Ms. Gabriell Olexa:

You teach us English that is greatly appreciated !

As your name,Gabriell–the woman’God, you scatters love, friendship and knowledge of English in our Qing Shui Wan community. When you have known that some people in the community extremely eager and try very hard leaning English. You , Who have always enjoyed helping people,voluntary teach us English for friendship. You ready carefully each lesson,you provide us with free tutoring materials; you give us the vivid class teaching,only three months ,our English have already greatly improved, especially in listening and speaking ability!You pleases very much to be a part of our class, you always share our progress and happy ! you say “It is easy to find friend in this world, but very difficult to find good ones” .You take us as your best friends!

According Chinese concept ,you have already become our loved ones ,you are our best friend!

All of us love you !

Grape myrtle is a kind of tree with purple beautiful flowers, your Chinese name Just is Ziwei (Grape myrtle ) yet ! Purple color (Zi se ) is a noble ,elegant color as well as purple indicate the fairy’s arrived (Zi qi dong lai ,紫气东来),the purple color is your most pretty color ,you are just the most beautify purple fairy in our heart.

In the Chinese traditional thinking ,we will work harder to learn English, in order to repay you,our teacher’s eduction of grace. We also wish  to share love ,friendship and knowledge of English with our neighbour in Qing Shui Wan Community.

We also say thak to your husband who always support you teach us English .

Our best regards to you and your husband !

(sing all of our names)

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Jun
09
2011

The Chinese Squat

bya Gabrielle at 8:00 AM

One thing that has always amazed me in China, is the Chinese ability to squat just about anywhere and for long periods of time like it’s no big deal.  If I squat for anymore than five minutes, I have a hard time getting back up.  My legs lock up and I walk around, hunched over like a 80 year old woman.  Hence, why I’ve never been a big fan of squatter toilets.  When I see old people squatting on the street, I am even more amazed.  I don’t understand how they do it.  I do know one thing for sure, the Chinese would make great catchers in a baseball game.  Maybe the MLB should start scouting here.

The squat toilets really aren’t that bad.  You get used to them after awhile, and in time your legs get stronger.   I once read on this one guy’s blog that after squatting for a year, he had absolutely no pain in his legs when skiing.  And I think I read or was once told that squatting instead of sitting was better for you.  I don’t know if it is true or not.

Phil actually prefers them.  He says he wants to have one in our home one day.  He also says he wants his own personal urinal.  He says this because our apartment in Fuyang, Zhejiang, had one.   I would like to know where he plans on putting all these toilets.  At the rate we are going, we won’t even be able to afford a house to put them in.  And if Phil gets his  three toilets, then I be allowed to get an ayi.  Ayi is Chinese for maid.  I don’t have one, but I often day dream about it.  Basically, right now, I am the ayi.  It sucks less than having a job, so I can’t complain that much.

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Jun
08
2011

Tour of Shanghai

bya Gabrielle at 2:34 PM

It only took two days and about 8 different attempts to upload it, but here she is.  It’s nothing super awesome, but if you’ve never been to Shanghai, it will give you an idea of what it looks like  – at least from a taxi window.  I’ve thought about putting one of the songs Youtube allows you to use because the wind is a bit annoying, but our internet sucks.  I’m lucky I was able to upload a 10 minute video at all.   In the States, it would be no problem.

I started the video just after we came out of the tunnel that runs under the river and takes you to and from Pudong.  Watching the video back, I’m surprised I didn’t hear more horns honking.  Almost every where I go in China, I hear horns.  If it wasn’t for the construction work going on outside my window, I would probably hear a blaring horn right now.  I guess because the traffic was moving so smoothly, there wasn’t much need for them, but that hasn’t ever stopped them before.  One day, I am going to go stand on a street corner(that sounds bad) and record all the horns I hear in a minute.  Sometimes, a driver will hold his horn down until the car in front of him moves and sometimes the car doesn’t move for awhile.  It can be quiet annoying. I sometime scream, “That’s enough!” in hopes that they’ll stop, but it never works.

If you guys or gals let me know if you like it or not, I can start taking more videos from taxi windows.  I could make a series out of it and call it China by Taxi or something like that.  Phil uploaded a similar video in 2007, and for some reason, people have gone crazy in the comment section.  It’s mostly people just ranting about China related stuff, but I find it somewhat hilarious.  The video, in 4 years, has had over 76,000 views – which is nothing compared to some of the  other videos on Youtube.  I don’t know why so many people have found a two minute video of buildings through a window so exciting.

I’ll post Phil’s video, too, because I don’t think I’ve ever posted it here.  You can decide for yourself why so many people have found it entertaining.

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And here is my video.

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And before I go, here is a cool picture of the Oriental Pearl Tower.  It was a rainy day and the clouds were really low.  It would not have been a good day to ride the elevator up to the observation deck.  Well, maybe it would have been cool to stand in a cloud.

 

 

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Jun
05
2011

Jin Wang’s Cover of Ke Guan Bu Ke Yi

bya Gabrielle at 2:24 AM

I thought I would share a video with you that my friend, Jin Wang, posted on Youtube.  He’s a very talented singer.

Phil and I met Jin when we lived in Fuyang, Zhejiang, China in 2006.  He was a student at the high school Phil taught at, but he wasn’t one of Phil’s students.

Jin really wanted to go college in the United States, and as soon as he could, that is exactly what he did.  He is currently attending Troy University in Alabama.  I am not entirely sure of the details, but I think he won a singing contest at Troy University.

Phil and I haven’t seen Jin in a year, but he will be coming back to China this summer to visit his family.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to spend several days with him when he comes.

I hope you enjoy the video.  Be nice to Jin, and leave some comments on the video.

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