Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just some pictures of Chinese parks and miscellaneous things

I realized Chinese peeps LOVE to walk around without shirts. Or with their bellies hanging out and their shirts sitting on top of their bellies.
Just one of the famous parks in Beijing. Forgot what it is called.

Again, same park. I went there with my Zhongguo jiating. Beautiful park. I realized Chinese people are very active in the mornings. They love to sing, dance, exercise, walk around, eat, chat in parks every morning!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dangdi ren

Today I talked with some locals at some wudaokou outdoor food court from ten to one. It was awesome.

I figured out that most Chinese peeps have some skewed view of all black people being bad people. THey think most blacks like to pian ren and don't really have good hearts. They also think black people get angry easily. I had to explain to them with my not-to-good chinese that their way of thinking was "hen cha" and very biased/racists. haha

I also figured out most common Chinese people don't really have a strong view on North Korea. They don't really know what's going down with the Chinese gov. and North Korea. o.O i thought all chinese would at least know about that issue.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

4U

Just went to a concert in Mako Livehouse. Listened to this awesome band called 4U. Two straight nights of really loud music. For the ears, really bad. For the soul, really good. =D

I have twelve more days in China. Need to spend it wisely. Things I wanna do while here in Beijing: figure out sophmore year schedule, contact my advisers, work out, bboy and train hard, practice my Chinese, talk a lot with dangdi Chinese peeps, read a book of the Bible, buy gifts for family, make friends, enjoy myself, live hard, praise God, be my all.


Sorry for the blabbering.

Listening to Nujabes. Chillin'. I just learned how to say chillin in Chinese. It is "呆着." It literally means "Staying." Chinese is such a literal language. As far as I know, it cannot capture the English abstract term of "chillin." Chilling doesn't just mean staying. It means resting, hanging out, walking, watching tv, eating, talking with friends, lying around, etc.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Language Pledge

When I had the language pledge, I was so frustrated. I wanted to speak English. Korean. Some other language other than Chinese. Now that the language pledge is gone, I don't want to speak English. I want to speak Chinese. I will miss all my teachers. China has been such an awesome experience. God has shown me show many things through the small encounters I have had in China.

I can't believe HBA is over. The past nine weeks have flown by. The World is flying by max velocity. No time to think, No time to pause, No time to appreciate, No time to care. Gotta slow down, gotta dare to face the things in this world that fight for His love, gotta refuse


Monday, August 2, 2010

Our God is Undeniably Crazy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZfsxydxEXA&feature=related.

I have been seeking God. I have been asking him questions. Why is the world so? The sorrow, the pain, the loneliness, the suffering that people endure. What's going on with the people who will never hear His Word? Why is there so much pain and poverty that I see around me?

I have so many doubts. Yet these doubts are good. They will lead me to the truth. And I doubt by asking God for revelation of these things. But in the midst of my doubting tonight, I feel God's love so palpably. I was thinking about how crazy God is. I read things like Naruto (yes, the manga) and I see two parents filling their child with love, and ultimately dying for their child, enduring pain and suffering. And I viscerally feel this is so tragic and beautiful. It is an ultimate expression of love. Naruto's parents place their hope, their dreams, their future in his hands and die for him. And I was praying when this story of Naruto popped in my head. I was asking God about the world's circumstances. And when this story came up, I had an even harder time understanding God. I cannot grasp God's love for us. If it is beautiful to see two parents sacrifice for lives their own child, how much more indescribably beautiful is it to understand a God who loves us humans, who have no reason to be loved by a God so majestic, so much that He sacrificed his own son for us. It's just crazy. Crazzyy. Undeniably so.

I have so many questions. And I seek God, ask Him these questions, and wrestle with Him. But all throughout this process, there is one thing that keeps me from turning away from God. It is the love I feel from God. It is the love that God has filled me with. It is the love I feel knowing that God knows the number of hair strands on my head, the pains deep in my heart, the loneliness I suffer sometimes. And He cares about these things. He invests his all into me. How beautiful is this?! How crazy?

It's such a beautiful collision, the beautiful mess, that exists between God and us.


Friday, July 30, 2010

798 and the silk street market: 秀水街

Whaddup guys. This is Andrew, writing from my room on a Friday night, past twelve. Tired and worn out from days worth of shajia-ing (bargaining). Last weekend, I went to 798 and looked at some pretty crazy stuff. They had all types of art, from the scary looking babies, to depressed looking girls, to pieces of cow skin on the wall and weird caged demonic, muscled, jacked, juiced -up body builders. As you can see above. My friend here, Jamie, aspires to be like one of them beings one day (I hope if you read this, Jamie, you don't come knocking on my door with your juiced up arms). But seriously, 798 is such an interesting place. I definitely recommend all those who love graffiti, art, small collectibles, etc to go.

Today, I went to Xiushuijie, the silk street market, the place that overflows with fake brands. Too many eager salesmen grabbed my arm and dragged me into their stores. They all say "ahh...you are very awesome. since you are a student, i will give you a very good price. lai lai lai lai." The Chinese way of selling things is really outrageous. They first quadruple the original price. Then, they try to scam you with sky-high prices. When you say no, they tell you to leave. THen when you leave, they tell you to come back and reconsider. When you come back and reconsider, and again say it's too expensive, they tell you to just forget about it. Quite interesting!

I bought a pair of shoes to bboy in, a bathing monkey shirt, a white armani belt, and a panda hat for my lil sis. I was tempted to buy so many things. Cheap goods, mostly illegal goods, hang from the ceiling all the way down to the floor. It's unbelievable.

I only have about three weeks in China.

Crazy. Time flies.

Sorry, I'm too tired for more blabbering. I will update again soon.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Monks, Shaolin Temple, Buddha, and bugs galore

One word for the Shaolin Si. Ill. My time at the Shaolin Temple was "feichang bu cuo!" From day one to the very last day, there wasn't amoment I was disappointed. From the extremely sore legs and feet to the bugs mating right next to my bed, everthing was "hen you yise." That's "very interesting" in Chinese pinyin for those who don't know.

Learning gongfu was a big challenge. It requires flexibilty, endurance, strength, perseverance, and concentration of mind/energy. I was so amazed by the number of kids who studied gongfu in the vicinity of the Shaolin Temple. Kids starting from age six come to the gongfu schools and start learning martial arts. They train intensely everyday by drilling, practicing, running, stretching, sparring, jumping, flipping, swinging, you name it. The gongfu schools are the very manifestation of the word "intense" or "厉害".

Climbing the Song Shan, the central, most sacred mountain in the area, was certainly a task. Simply put, it was "freaking tall." My legs burned like crazy. Yet, I found it meaningful to climb those thousands of stairs to the top, the highest point I have every been in my life (besides in an airplane). I kept wondering to myself why I was even trying to get to the top. Curiosity? Sense of accomplishment? Finishing what I started? I still don't know exactly why. But I climbed it, and I feel like it was more than just a physical journey. It was also a reflection of our spiritual journeys. The higher you climb, the harder it gets. It's harder to breathe, harder to step, harder to climb, harder to see out because of the clouds. Similarly, our journeys with God gets harder as we feel like we grow more and more mature. More temptations, more roadblocks, more distractions, more everything. Yet, I did realize something. There is a distinct difference between climbing that mountain and climbing the wall of spirituality. As it got harder and harder, I relied on my body, my own strength to climb each step. As the spiritual journey gets tougher and tougher, you learn to rely on God more and more.


Here are some pics of my time at the temple. If yall wanna see some more pics, I have lots posted on my facebook! Peace.





Friday, July 2, 2010

The Pepsi Boxers and Squat Toilets

















Wassup wassuppp. I did not have any pictures from this week. So i have posted previous pictures of my first week in China. Pepsi undies and Squatting toilets. These are two new things I have encountered while in China. I went to the supermarket bear BCLU the first day I was in China. There I saw a couple of interesting things. First, I saw a sign that said "there be no candy drink." I also saw a sign that said "there be no fire in the fore-forbidden area." These two awkwardly translated signs are examples of the dangers of translation. I always thought that Chinese people in the States just had terrible grammar. And they do. honestly. But I can finally understand why they have such horrible grammar, the grammar you hear comedians imitate on tv. The way Chinese sentences are structured can sometimes be very bizarre. When directly translating Chinese into English, these bizarre sentences turn into awkward, grammatically incorrect english sentences.

Another interesting thing I saw were the Pepsi boxers. o.O Who would have thought that Pepsi sells UNDERWEAR? I certainly thought that it was hilarious. I guess Pepsi is not just some soft drink company but a multi-product business? Anyways, I think I will have to buy me a pair of them pepsi boxers. They're too funny to pass by.

THe picture of me hovering/squatting over a toilet is not real. Just to get that out of the way. Unlike in the states, Chinese people like to squat when taking a dump. They think it's more sanitary also, which it actually is.

Couple of new things I learned about China: Apple products are popular here but REALLY expensive. The age people Chinese marry is getting older and older. Houhai is a really awesome place full of people, energy, fun places, and live bars. Beijing can ACTUALLY have blue skies. I know, it's crazy. Chinese people love to sing and dance in the morning in random places and parks.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Forbidden Palace and the Human Condition
















(My camera ran out of batteries as soon as we entered the Palace. Sorry I couldn't get pictures of the Palace)

Ah it's finally the second weekend. I cannot wait for the fifth week of HBA where we will be able to go to THE Shaolin Temple and learn kungfu. It'll be so legit. Today I went to The Forbidden Palace. The place is immensely surreal. I can't believe the stunning beauty and magnificence of the place. It's hard to capture in words. The whole time I was there, I was imagining what it would be like to live there in the days when China was still ruled by dynasties. The place is manifestation of art, history, significance, royalty, beauty, and .....mortality. I could see that some of the buildings were getting old and the paint was scratching off their surfaces. I could see many trees bending low, bearing the heavey weight of many ages.

I learned this week that it is very impolite to ask Chinese people, especially ladies, how old they are. I wonder why? In Korea, people also do not like revealing their age. And now that I think about it, even Americans don't always like to say how old they are. I remember my teachers in high school saying they were twenty one, when they were actually in their forties haha. Hmmm....I didn't mean to write with a theme in mind, but I see that I am writing a lot about age, mortality, and the ultimate human condition of death. But surprisingly, the one chapter I've been continually reading in my Bible this week also talks about this theme. Aging, death, mortality.

Matthew 6 talks about storing your treasures not on earth but in heaven. It also talks about seeking the kingdom of God before seeking things of this Earth.

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I'm tired of writing lol. Just think about it.

-Andrew

Saturday, June 19, 2010

THE EXTREMELY LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG WALL
















I cannot believe I have only been in Beijing for a week. I feel like I've been here for a month. But everything is going well. I was really frustrated the first few days of classes because of the intensity of the program. No English at anytime means no English even in Chinese class. That means the teachers are explaining the unknown Chinese grammar in Chinese I cannot fully understand. This means....that I cannot fully understand the grammar points. I really think the language pledge should not be enforced in class. Outside of class, it is an excellent idea, but in class, the teachers should be able to explain things in English. Thus, first few days of classes were very hard for me. I had a hard time keeping up with the speed of learning. And everyday, the memorization of characters kills me. I get five hours of sleep on usual nights T.T


Anyways, enough of venting. yesterday I finally visited the Great Wall of China! In Chinese, it is called ChangCheung. What I think about the wall is.....changcheung feichang chang. If you know Chinese, you can understand the little joke (although it ain't very funny). Anyways, the Great Wall was more like exercise than it was a comfortable journey. We climbed up thousands of stairs and I literally drenched two shirts. I looked like I had jumped into a swimming pool o.O The wall was very long, but I really enjoyed the experience. I want to try going there alone sometime because I feel like walking the immense length of the wall can be a great spiritual journey of reflection, prayer, and time spent with God. We will see about my return to the wall.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

在北京

I am finally in Beijing. I can't believe it but I have not had any strong bowel movements yet. I heard that you will have serious diarrhea for the first few weeks in China, but I guess my stomach is just that diesel. I have spent so much money in one day. I arrived at the airport and got to BLCU at around two thirty a.m. That same day, I bought myself a SIM card, internet connection, a gym membership, water bottles, Chinese chocolate, and Pocari Sweat (Asian gatorade).

The air here ain't that bad. It is real smoggy but I don't feel the air taxing my lungs.

I took my preliminary exam today. Not bad. I can't believe your mind can forget so many things so easily in such a short amount of time. Ji de hen kuai. wang de ye hen kuai.

I need to pick up my books today. I think I'm going to also hit the gym up and check out their dance floor. I'm also going to try China's McDonald's or KFC! Very very excited about that.

I have not been ripped off yet by street vendors. I hear that they can really suck you in and make you buy expensive dongxi. I'll need to keep an eye out for them.

Anyways, I need to go grab my books for classes tomorrow. -___- We'll see how they go. For the meantime, peace ya'll.

God Bless



Sunday, May 23, 2010

Florida Sun

I am still just chillin' in Florida. Oh how great it is to sit out in the sun, read books, spend time with buds, bboy, work out, eat (whenever, wherever), and sleep. I've also been watching lots of Korean variety shows and dramas haha. Of course, I'm diggin into the Word and wrestling with the strongest Being alive.

Beijing, you will have to wait a couple more weeks for me. As I prepare my heart and mind for the upcoming journey into mysterious lands, I ask that you guys pray for me. Pray that God guides and leads me in my time in Beijing. Let it be meaningful, purposeful. Let God open my heart to the things He wants me to see there.

Hmm..I wonder what Beijing duck will taste like. I'm looking forward to it!

Sorry for jumping around so much. I'm just writing random thoughts down. Have a good one guys.

God bless and peace

-Andrew

Thursday, May 13, 2010

First time blogger

I've never had a blog before. I have no idea what I'm doing. Oh well. I'm looking forward to the way this thing can connect me with other peeps.

Peaze