So to counteract the earlier "Bitch Session", we thought it only fair to make a list of the things we like about China:
Our Ayi! Ayi is another word for "Auntie". She comes every day and mops our floors, cleans our toilets, does our breakfast/dinner dishes, our laundry, and has dinner on the table at 5pm. This is 5 days a week, 4 hours per day, for about $125 per month!
No Cars! We can bicycle everywhere. Things are close enough to walk or bicycle to - the school, the store, etc. The kids have much more freedom here than they do in the U.S.
The Safety! We give little thought to our personal safety. China overall seems quite safe, and Hangzhou is said to be the safest city in China because it's the tourist Mecca for the Chinese.
It's a Rental! Our little apartment is maintenance free, so we don't have to worry about repairs, we just call downstairs if something is wrong. Also, no yard to maintain! Very stress free!
Sophie keeps busy! She's in school from 8:15 - 4pm every day and she is completely entertained by it! This provides us with some freetime and sanity which we REALLY enjoy. She is so high energy!
Incredible Kindness! Everywhere we go, people are incredibly kind. They go out of their way to make sure we have everything we need, that we understand, that we are thriving here. Sue had locked the bedroom door without a key, and she told the 3 guys in the office. They jumped up, and asked her to sit down while they figured out what to do!
Mental Stimulation! Tim loves being able to study the language and the task of trying to communicate with the Chinese, and overcoming the daily challenges that arise. We are all doing a huge amount of learning here; language, culture, history! Also, there are so many beautiful, scenic spots that are thousands of years old
Great Prices! Sue took 4 friends out to a nice lunch today. The grand total? 92 quai - about $12 US! Western items are still Western prices however.
The People! The Chinese are such a kind, warm, hard working people. Overall, they work so much harder than we do in the U.S. We met a family whose daughter gets 20 minutes of free time per day in which she reads something that she wants to read. Then it's back to mathematics and science; in high school, science is comprised of Physiology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. To me, it seems like America is jogging, and the Chinese are sprinting. When will they pass us?