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