Beijing, China

Ne Hao Everyone!

We are in Beijing and I'm super excited to be starting up my blog again! A lot has happened since my last post in April; Oregon coast trips with the fam, Magnolia Farms with my favorite USA volley wives (love and miss you all), my first trip to Hawaii, and the OLYMPICS (that will be entirely its own post…coming soon). I know I’ve been terrible at keeping up on this, but hey, new country, new adventures, new posts! 

A LOT of “new” going on over here in China. I think that the best way to put it. Adopting such a foreign place as home is never easy, but it’s tough situations like this that challenge me and help me grow in lots of ways. I don't think I have ever felt more out of place in my life, but in a funny sort of way. Tay and I definitely stick out like a pair of sore thumbs walking around here and practically every passerby makes sure we don't forget that. I’ve gotten really good at staring contests and popping up a peace sign for pictures, so I guess I can add that to my resume.

Besides the prolonged staring it hasn't been too bad here! We live right in the heart of this busy city so there is a lot to do and see around us, if the pollution is mellow. We still have yet to conquer the metro system, but we’ve got taxis down. Even if that means risking our lives every time we get in one. I’m not even joking when I say these are the craziest drivers, EVER. Im really glad the volleyball club didn't give us a car, because I’m almost positive we wouldn’t be able to roll with these big dogs. If your life didn't flash before your eyes at least twice during a ride to the grocery store did you even take a taxi?

Speaking of grocery stores. We seriously hit the jackpot here. There are two stores sent from heaven:

  1. Jenny Lou’s
  2. April Gourmet

These places have everything from Gain Island Fresh detergent and Frosted Mini-Wheats right on down to an ice cold Dr. Pepper. If you know me, you know I love a good ole’ DP. To someone who enjoys the luxury of bi-weekly (or even tri-weekly, you know who you are) trips to Target, this may not sound like a lot, but when you’re in my shoes and take an innocent trip to the local Wal-Mart China only to witness a tub of frozen frog carcasses, that DP is EVERYTHING. Ya feel me?

The food situation is actually treating us a lot better than I thought it would. Since Beijing has so many expats here on business, and what not, you can find just about any kind of restaurant you could ever want. I’ve only had Chinese food once in the whole month I’ve lived here. That meal included, but was definitely not limited to: peking duck (Beijing’s famous dish), pickled duck feet, chicken liver rolled in sesame seeds, and deep-fried scorpions. I only touched the peking duck and some other dish that tasted just like Panda Express. For those who have been here and have any Chinese restaurant recommendations, throw em’ my way! I’m ready for round 2. 

Taylor is enjoying his new team and so far they are 4-0! I'm excited to see how the season will play out for them. You can find his first game against Tianjin, here. I will try and post links to his games so that those who are interested can tune in to watch. It’s not alway easy to find the links, but i’ll do my best! If you'd be interested in me making a tab dedicated to T's volleyball let me know in the comments below. 

Can’t wait to share the rest of our Chinese adventures with you all! China has been such a different change from what we are used to, but we are learning the ropes and growing to love it more everyday! 

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Rachel Sander