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.

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8 thoughts on “The Middle Kingdom

    1. Thanks Carl. Good to hear from you. Thanks for following my adventures. I do my best to stay safe, but its funny, the longer I am abroad, the easier it is to let down my defenses. I find myself sometimes becoming a little too comfortable. I forget I am still a solo female in a foreign country. Thanks for reminding me to keep my guard up. All the best to you and Loretta.

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  1. I was listening to a podcast this morning, an interview with a Senegalese chef. The meaning of Senegal is “our/one boat”. Since the boat they allude to is a dugout canoe which is prone to be tippy, the idea is to act judiciously so everyone will be safe and dry. Plus, it also refers to the idea that we all are in the same boat, no matter where we are from. What one person does in China is felt by another in the US. I am so glad that you are making contributions to the stability and joy of the boat we are on together. Look forward to reading your blog. Be well!

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    1. Your post made me think of all those I have met along the way. No matter how different our lives may seem and our cultures may differ, deep down we all really want the same thing out of this crazy life and world we live in…..to be happy. I have slept in homes with no running water, experienced Christmas through the eyes of a child in a communist country, found a person from my hometown in a tiny village in rural China who was my replacement at the school, I have dined at t he Captaini’s table on a massive cruise ship, I have taken mad scooter rides through the back streets of Saigon. I could go on and on about the people I have met, places I have seen and experienced and but you are correct….deep down we are all the same.

      I wanted to paste a photo here, but wordpress won’t let me or I don’t know what I am doing…it said;

      “Travel because you have no idea who you are until you experience yourself through different people and realize how we’re all the same”.

      Thanks for following. 🙂

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    1. Hi Barb, thanks for following, and Kay too. It’s amazing how much you discover about yourself travelling alone, although I have discovered, you are never really alone. Most everyone you meet along your journey has a similar mindset as you. Since I am a sucker for travel quotes, here is one from Jacqueline Boone; “Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime”.

      I am happy one of those marvelous people I have met along my way is you. 🙂

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  2. Loved it Wendy. Keep sharing your adventures!

    I’m interested in knowing some of the freedoms you don’t have in China, especially those that we take for granted in America.

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    1. Hi Martha,

      Thanks for following. I hope to share many different things in this blog and will try to touch on some of those things we take for granted in the USA. One of those being freedom of choice. “The Great Firewall of China”, as we call it here, limits the content of what you can see on the internet, unless you have a VPN, which is sometimes difficult to get once you are in China.

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