Well James and I got back from Beijing yesterday and I just want to say how much we loved it there. I am really hoping that the contract Barco gives us is a good one so that we can move there is summer. I have a hard time even explaining what it is I loved so much about the trip. One the food was great! I have always loved Chinese food and was a bit nervous that the real deal would not be to my liking but it was not so. The chopstick thing was really hard for me since there were no forks in most of the restaurants we ate at, but I will get better with practice. James got a good laugh if nothing else. Since James Mother served a mission in Japan she taught all her kids how to use chopsticks.
The people were so friendly and kind everywhere we went. They seem to have to make up jobs for people but that just shows how much honor the put in work. I will admit that I am not a very hard worker and I have seem their example and want to strive to do better.
Things seem pretty cheap with the once exception of food. Food is very expensive, but we stayed at a 5 star hotel and it was only $100 a night. It was a nicer hotel than I think I have ever stayed in and the service was excellent.
I will admit I felt more at home there in Beijing than I do in Europe. James and I went in to this with a very open mind and both felt like China is way more the the fears we grew up hearing about. Yes they have lots of poor people, and the have lots of poor areas. But even the old lady sweeping the street has a smile on her face. This is a country where they are growing into this fast pace world and trying to make changes the best they can to improve the lives of the people who live there. They way of going about it may not always be the best but the I don't think the American government always does things the right way either.
With the financial crisis right now I know that few people are traveling but if you are looking at going somewhere I highly recommend China! It is an experience I can't wait to take my children into. They have such a rich culture and the people have good hearts.