Friday, July 16, 2010


And here comes the month of traveling…we flew for 16 hours to get from Beijing to Chicago to Atlanta for a dunk contest The Jump Manual is sponsoring. NYC for an internet marketing conference, Dallas for Kai’s wedding and potentially Kansas City for the Hillers are on the horizon. Sometimes at this rate traveling can be a little much. But, there are a lot of fun things coming up so that’s good.

Our impressions so far of Georgia have been…clean, sterile and exactly like every other part of small town America. We could be in Keller, Texas or Hilliard, Ohio right now. It has the strip malls, Target and Home Depot complexes, bad traffic, and lack of cheap accommodation or public transport that your typical American city boasts of. But it does have plenty of excellent shopping choices, smog-less air, and English speakers, and you may rest assured I have already eaten fresh salads and crisp vegetables and chips and salsa to my heart’s content.

China was a little sad to leave. I mean, I admit I didn’t mind being daily approached by strangers who complimented me and wanted to take my picture, and our friend William is a one of a kind guy whom we will miss.

I wish you guys could have met William. He is so adorable. He speaks with a cute Chinese accent with a lot of inflection, and is so childlike. For example, when he was visiting our apartment one day he said, “Kalli, what is this?” Pointing to my makeup set. “This is blush, this is eyeshadow, and this is lipstick,” imitating how to put it on. He was all, “Oh! Now I understand, why you are so beautiful!” On our Great Wall hike, he asked each of us individually, “Jacob, can you believe, that the Chinese have built so great a wall thousands of years ago?” “Kalli, can you believe, that the Chinese have built so great a wall thousands of years ago? I cannot believe!” He brought traditional clothes to wear and referred to himself as William the Conqueror. This was his first trip to the Great Wall as well. He also introduced himself constantly to people as we walked along, including to a little girl who he cooed over, then told the doting mother, “Is she real? She looks fake!”

Here are pictures from some final escapades in China.

1. Taoist temple

Taoism believes that there are different departments in heaven that determine punishments and regulate different kinds of people on Earth. Sounds very orderly, doesn’t it?

They had everything, from the poisoning department to the abortion department to the 15 types of violent death department.

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2. That’s Jacob in our favorite restaurant


This is our favorite salad. It has agarics, a kind of waxy mushroom, onions, and cilantro.


This is Jacob asking for two menus. For some reason, when you go out to eat, every single restaurant only brings one menu.


3. Happy Valley Amusement Park


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5. Chinese Ethnic Cultural Park

This outdoor museum showcased the 56 ethnic minorities of China, and it definitely made me want to return to China and explore more outside of Beijing one day.


Three inches was the ideal size for a Chinese woman’s foot. I swear, the things women have been subjected to throughout history.


5. Forbidden City and Tiannamen Square

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I admit I was a little frustrated with our tour guide because he just pointed to each place and said “this is where the emperor lived. and this is where the concubines lived” without elaborating. I learned more from reading the signs out front.



Chinese children wear these kind of shorts, the better to pee in the streets with.

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Here is a picture of people taking a picture of me while others are taking a picture of Jacob.


The best part of this visit was the line formed of people from small cities in China wanting their pictures with us.


Here is Jacob trying to look Chinese.

6. Acrobatics show and Beijing opera

The acrobatics show was awesome. The opera was…not what I was expecting. They don’t really sing in their operas. They mostly do pretend sword fighting and speaking in a high pitched voice. Not to mention the instrumentation was almost entirely percussion. It was kind of surreal.

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7. Meeting with friends


We met up with one of Jacob’s friends from his college in Iowa who is from Beijing named Ivy, and her husband from Finland. They own a business too.


We went out to eat with a couple from the ward named Andrew and Nicola, who introduced us to one of our best dining experiences ever, DaDong Restaurant which serves Peking duck.

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8. The Great Wall

We went with a visiting American family and brought William along with us. It was beautiful, and it was definitely a hike! I was “glistening” the whole time. Because girls don’t sweat, they glisten. Visiting the Great Wall was an amazing experience. I’m really grateful to get to have done it.

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