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Life In China

China Gate

Welcome to our Simple ‘China’ Living 🙂

We have been getting settled in China, learning where to find food, how to teach English, …. and how to shake our heads to show we don’t understand what people are saying to us.

A few days ago we took a taxi down to get someone to work on our phone.  I brought the camera with me so I could take pictures on our walk back. Let me give you a tour… as best as I can.

China Market Here is one of the markets we have been to several times.  You can see a lady selling corn on the cob at the front, but most of this street and the shopping alleys off of it are for household goods/clothes/kitchen things, etc.  It has worked good to get things for the apartment we need like towels, cleaners, cleaning cloths and school supplies.

Chinese Kid

People are always asking to take our picture when we are walking around so I figured I could take their pictures too.  Pay back 🙂  Here is a little boy we met on the street.

Chinese Building

I will be honest, I have no idea what this building is.  But it looks cool and ‘Chinese’ so I thought I would share it with you.  I love all the lanterns everywhere.  They told me it was for the festival, but the festival ended 3 weeks ago or more and all the lanterns are still up.

Exercise Park

There are all kinds of these exercise parks all over the city.  From what I can tell it is all range of motion and lots of repetition.. nothing like our resistance or aerobic exercise… but there are always people exercising and it seems to work for them.

I tried to edit this picture a bit but you can still see how bad the air pollution is.  … yuck!  Some days are better than others, we are told it will get better in spring.

Public Toilet

Just because I am sure you are all wondering ;), here are the public toilets.  They have them all through the city and this is one of the nicest.  None of them flush and are filthy but if you need it, it works.  Asian toilets are built into the floor so they are squatted over.   A bit of a learning curve.

Chinese Candy

From toilets to candy… sorry.   Bryon is buying me some street candy.  I really like this stuff that is kind of a corn puff/rice crispy treat/caramel thing.  Also the spongy (looking) stuff that is inside Crunchy bars (for you Canadians who know what a Crunchy bar is) is also sold by weight.  I got a chunk of it for the weekend as well.

Bread Stand

We got some bread from this lady.  It is kind of like a flaky English muffin that has honey and sesame seeds on top.  Pretty good 🙂

Chinese Breakfast Food

I think this is what the Chinese eat for breakfast.  They are different vegetable relishes and are very salty.  They don’t taste bad… but I am not ready to eat them for breakfast yet.

Chinese Farmers Market

Here is the entrance to the market we get most of our food at.  It is like the farmers market here.  The picture above is from the market.  The problem is the entrance is so crazy.  It if was just people it would be one thing, but there are bikes and motorized scooters and everything moving through this entrance so it is always crazy getting all the kids inside and keep everyone together (and not run over).

Vegetable Market

Here is one of the vegetable tables.  Lots of variety even though it is winter and great prices.  There are still lots of vegetables I don’t know how to cook yet.

Crazy Entrance Street

This is the beginning of the entrance to where we live.  Not only full of vendors, people, bikes, but also cars trying to go two directions.  However, lots of what we need is right here really close to us.


There are at least 2 ladies that do sewing along this road.  They are so cute!

Fruit stand

There are 3 fruit stands like this along our road.  … all selling almost the same thing.   The apples here are really good now!

Bean Dumplings

Here is the bean dumpling man.  As much as this looks really cool… we haven’t been able to get used to the idea of sweet beans yet.  They use beans in a lot of their pastries and in very little other cooking.  Maybe once we are in China for a while we can get past the idea that beans are only good with salsa and cheese.

Tofu Friend

I love this lady!  She is so sweet.  She fries slices of Tofu and sprinkles them with spices and fresh cilantro.  She thought it was very funny that I wanted her picture and she gave me an extra slice for free 🙂  Here is the first part of our supper.

My students

As I was waiting for my tofu to be done these lovely students of mine walked by and let me take a picture of them.   I have 130 students in all broken into 3 different groups for classes.  Still leaves me with a huge class size (40+ for all the groups) and I meet with each group 2-3 times a week.

Shoe Shop

Continuing down the little alley is the shoe fixing people.  There are 3-4 of them at least and they seem to stay fairly busy.  … it is funny, I have no idea where a shoe shop might be in Omaha were we came from.  It isn’t that these people keep things forever and recycle… because the have different shoes for every outfit and they always look new.  So I am not sure what shoes they are always fixing.

Sandwich man

Finally, right by the gate there is this amazing little sandwich shop.  Here was where we got the rest of our supper.  They make a tortilla like thing and when it starts poofing up they cut a hole in the bubble and pour egg in.  They use (what looks like) a drywall knife to spread the egg around the bubble and it creates this egg filled tortilla.  Then they spread different sauces on it, put some lettuce and shredded potato into it and roll it up.  Very tasty.  Costs about .50 American dollars for 1 sandwich that is big enough to split.

Chinese Sandwich 2

Here is them finishing up one of our sandwiches.  This is one of our favorite Chinese foods yet.

There you have it!  There is so much I feel like I could blog about with what we have been learning in China.  I hope to be able to share a bunch more with you in the next several months.  Learning to teach has been a growing/learning experience and will probably still take months for me to feel comfortable… kinda what I was going for.. and what I blog about all the time.  Going out of my comfort zone and trying something new has been hard and rewarding.


  1. Lindsay Lindsay

    Loved this; thanks so much for sharing! Very much looking forward to hearing more when there is time. 🙂

  2. This looks so awesome! I have a friend from Singapore, and my brother in law does business in Asia alot. They both say to look for “Western” Toilets if you don’t want to squat over the floor!! I think what you are doing is so cool and so neat your children get that experience! Thank you so much for sharing.


    Ps. They also tell me the toilets in Japan and South Korea are really high tech. If you are ever in one of their airports, you’ll have to check them out!!

  3. Kelly Kelly

    So exciting! While I have never been to China (born and raised in CT), I AM 100% Chinese. Just wanted to let you know about breakfast: I suspect that they don’t eat the salty stuff straight up. Usually, you cook a rice porridge (my family calls it jook, which I think is Cantonese, or gruel) – it’s just rice and water, boiled to heck til the rice is sorta broken down and goopy — and use the salty stuff as a topper or mix-in (similar to brown sugar or berries in oatmeal). If you don’t dig salty, you can do it sweet instead (shredded coconut, sweetened cond milk – I don’t know if these are readily available there or if it’s just what my Americanized- father subs in). Anyway, have fun! Looks amazing!

    • Kelly, thanks! I was told they eat it with bread here. There is way more wheat in this area than rice. Mixing in one of the sweeter options sounds much better for breakfast. I think I could find some coconut milk and there is fruit everywhere. I will have to try it 🙂

  4. Pam S Pam S

    SO VERY INTERESTING! THANK YOU FOR SHARING WITH US. I look forward to whatever and whenever shots to experience your Chance-of-a lifetime. We have a son/daughter-in-law that teach abroad also. How much one’s life enriches when you “experience” the world from another’s vantage point. Take care,

  5. Karen Karen

    Loving your China posts! Thanks!! Somehow makes me homesick even though I am sitting on my couch, uh, at home:0

  6. Erin Erin

    I loved this! Thank you so much. You help me dream about the possibilities! Enjoy some of the Yum for me!

  7. Kathy Kathy

    Thanks for sharing and all the photos!! I just love glimpses into life abroad! What an experience!

  8. Judy Judy

    I am so happy for you and your family. This is an experience of a lifetime, and you have worked hard to get there. I admire what you are doing. Thanks for sharing with us. I loved this post and look forward to many more.

  9. Melissa Mekelburg Melissa Mekelburg

    Thank you for sharing your new life in China with us. We have 6 boys and 2 girls here at school from China. The one girl came at the beginning of the school year not knowing very much english, but she has learned alot during the school year.It was very hard to watch her parents leave her here and go home so very far away. But she has thrived. Enjoy your new experiances! Have a blessed day.

  10. hope hope

    There has been an upswing of tourist going to China and then saying that they have “been to China”. I believe to really know a country and it’s people one must live there among the people at their level, eating and working shoulder to shoulder with them. What a wonderful experience especially for your children. Blessings to you all.

    • Yes, I agree 🙂 We really like our city because it is small, at least according to Chinese standards, and it lets us see and try and learn the culture much better.

  11. Love seeing these glimpses into your world! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. Angel Angel

    love the sweet beans, we had the same type of fried sweet dumpling in Okinawa Japan, there you could also get them as a topping for ice cream sundaes at the A&W stand. First time visiting your blog, enjoyed this article, I have another friend that teaches english there

  13. Nancy Nancy

    I love the pictures! It brings to life the stories you share. I share these pictures with everyone I can. What an adventure…..

  14. Pat Hunsche Pat Hunsche

    Lorilee, I enjoy your posts, you are so brave to begin this experience,
    and I am sure the children will enjoy it also. Cousin, Pat

  15. China would be so amazing to visit! How exciting for you! When did you arrive in China? How long will you be there? Good thing you’ve been working on simple living. We have friends who worked as English teachers there for several years & they have told us that it was very, very, very simple!!!

    • we got here about 1 month ago and will be here for 1 year. So far teaching still has a learning curve, but it is getting more easy and simple 🙂 Good to meet you!

  16. Owen Owen

    I really love your posts and way of life.
    As a native Chinese(other city,rice-based), I shall know most of them aforesaid in your post.
    the city you are living is definitely small in size ,yes, small in many aspects in china.that’s of course a really great one for you to grab the real taste of china ,while you are within this city that’s changing, holding onto many traditional values/lifestyle at the same time
    Wish your family a great odyssey

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