Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas in China

Merry Christmas Family and Friends,

We wish you the most peaceful of days during a most stressful time in the U.S.A.  
We grieve deeply for the loss of lives in Connecticut.

Life size minis on tree!

Christmas in China is indeed sparkly and bright.  Shopping centers, of which there are many, are fully decorated and shine brightly.
Toys and ornaments abound
Slender Santa in China

Even with with glitz and glimmer in Shanghai, Christmas is not commonly celebrated.

 There are no days off during the Christmas week.  Christmas is just another day.

Most BRIGHT CITY we have experienced

For the Chinese, gift giving, time off, and time with family is celebrated on Chinese New Year which begins on February 10, 2013.    

Shanghai Community Fellowship (SCF)

For Christians, however, this is still a special day.  We light the advent candles at Shanghai Community Church, we celebrate the coming of Jesus into our lives:  John 1:14 ( The Message) "The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood."  We worship a God who knows us, loves us, and who desires to be known and loved.

Mudu Garden in Suzhou
In China, we are able to worship with others who hold a foreign passport at afternoon services.  Chinese nationals are invited to attend the Chinese services at the church in the morning or evening.  This is a government mandate, not a church mandate.  We can fellowship with Chinese believers and seekers at home groups or outside of church events.  The Chinese we have met are open to learn about Christianity, and are always eager to learn more about western ways.

This Christmas, we will be spending a warm holiday in Thailand; one of the wonderful perks of residing in Asia.

We pray for the LIGHT to shine brightly in your hearts and homes,

Ken and Jeanie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Food in Shanghai

Ni Hao Family and Friends,

             We have completed our third week in
 Shanghai.   This week's topic is FOOD.
Lunch in Shanghai, $5 a person

Dinner at Xindalu
  Finding local supermarkets, and knowing how to buy and  then prepare healthy food is a challenge.  We live around the corner from many Chinese food stands and restaurants, but it is difficult to navigate what food is safe and healthy and then how to go back to the apartment to prepare it.

Have not yet eaten meat on the street
       We haven't yet been brave enough to buy the street meat, but we love the dumplings. (jiaozi)  gee-ow-zuh
Many different types of jiaozi

Yang's Dumplings:  4 for $1- our FAVORITE

Always a crowd 
The famous Chinese lady on our block is endearingly known as the Vegetable Lady by all the expats. (Expat from ex-patriate, someone who is  temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their own.)  
Beautiful inexpensive fruits and vegies.
 $1 per avocado, $2 for 6 mandarin oranges
 Many  foreign items, you just need to dig to discover. Chips and/salsa were found for $7

We can walk to this grocery store for some of our needs, and hooray (!), we discovered the Costco-like store called Metro about a 20 minute drive away from our apartment.

We love the fresh fruit desserts.
 Chocolate and baked sweets are not common.
Bai Restaurant, $7 for soup, main course, rice and tea

Restaurants are in abundance.  We like to try the local places.

Our Thanksgiving Peking Duck was delicious- haochi- ( how chuh)
Hairy crab is a winter treat in Shanghai.

Next Time:  How do the Chinese celebrate Christmas?