The Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom

I arrived in China August of 2015 and on Thursday I will be moving to 4th city I will call home, Dong’e City in Shandong Province.  I know very little about it other than it is a small city between Liaocheng and Jinan, closer by 60 km to Liaocheng.  I will be working in a Children’s Activity Center 2 days a week, Saturday and Sunday.  Leaving me 5 days off, I have decided to attempt another blog.

Zhongguo 中国 is what “China” is called by Chinese people. 中 Zhong, the zh is pronounced  “j”ong  国 gua, pronounced gwah, translates to central/middle kingdom.  Just in case you are interested, the USA is 美国 meiguo or “may gwah”  Please note I left off the tones, a Chinese character can mean at least 4 different things depending on the tone or stress, but since no one is probably interested in learning Chinese, I will leave it at that. Well, one side note,  If you have an ear for music, I think you have a better chance of learning Chinese than me, who got kicked out of the youth choir at church because I couldn’t carry a tune or recognize a note to save my life.

Back to China,  1.3 billion people living in 3,625,800 sq. miles. That’s 383 people per square mile.  China, a country you develop a love/hate relationship.  I love the food, well not really all of it, not the pig intestines or brains or even the chicken feet, but honestly there is really good food in China and no we don’t get fortune cookies, egg rolls, General Tsao’s or chicken chow mein here.  I do hate when I have to use a public restroom and yes, I have to squat 99.9% of the time.  That being said, you realize you have been in China a long time or too long when you need to use the public toilet and it doesn’t phase you to drop a deuce in a squatty. Like I said, it’s a love/hate relationship.  But something about the Middle Kingdom sucks you in and you fall in love with the good and the not so good………..

I have a friend, Barb, who I met on a cruise (Venice to the Greek Islands, I think), recently ask me if I have crossed the line and feel more at home abroad than Warren, Ohio. I hadn’t really thought about it and answered, well, maybe.  I have pondered this many times since she asked.  I leave you with this quote from Gilbert K. Chesterton; “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on a foreign land, it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land”  Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions as I continue my next adventure in the Middle Kingdom.