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So I tried to think of a new and interesting post about my life but could not. I went to a rap concert on Saturday which was pretty cool, saw my first Chinese rapper who was decent, and a rap legend (Pete Rock) for 10 dollars which is absurd. I was just looking at some of our most popular search engine hits from the past week and thought they were funny, so I will share them with you.

#1 = houseplants shower – you may recall that our plants died instantly when they were in the living room, so our shower was filled with our plants for a few months. Apparently other people are having the same problem, or they want to shower themselves with houseplants. You decide.

#2 = deaf haiku – We get lots of random hits for deaf people, which is unfortunate seeing as we offer nothing for the deaf community. You may remember I wrote a critically acclaimed haiku about our instantly scalding/freezing shower. Apparently people wanted to find a haiku for deaf people…

#3 = mongolian deaf skype – see above

#4 = erin and dave blog – Wooo! If you google “erin and dave blog” we are #1! If you google “erin and david” we are #7 (mostly behind women named Erin David). We are moving on up people.

Now that we are getting 3 hits a day from people searching for “houseplants shower”, get ready for tons of pop up ads! Soon we can start selling tonedeaftraveler apparel and stuff. Here are some random pictures (China and South Africa) for your amusement. Enjoy!

Wuddup wuddup, its been a while since I posted, mainly because nothing too exciting has happened. We haven’t gone anywhere except for Beijing which is growing commonplace now. Don’t worry though, we should have a flurry of exciting updates coming in the next week or so. We will be going to Xi’an, a “new, old city” most famous for being the location of the Terra Cotta warriors. More importantly, my friend Matt Busa will meet us there on his trip to China! So we are excited and hope that he can make a guest post about his experience.

Yesterday , I watched the highest grossing movie in Chinese cinematic history, and it was about the Tangshan earthquake (English subtitles). I think it is hard to imagine the kind of devastation that the city endured, but basically everything in the city was destroyed and the majority of people living here died. The movie did a very poor job of depicting this, as it focused mostly on one families struggle AFTER the actual earthquake. We really haven’t encountered situations where the earthquake was brought up, but I think the spirit of resiliency and perseverance is very strong with people from Tangshan. The movie was not very interesting, but what I did think was interesting is how much the audience talked during the movie. Cell phones were ringing CONSTANTLY throughout the movie, people were talking like they would anywhere else…it was a little strange. As you walked into the theater, which was the old-style with a balcony, they handed you a bag of tissues in case you were crying.

I have been practicing my Chinese more recently and am noticing improvements particularly with my listening and pronunciation. About 1% of the people that I talk to tell me that they can’t understand me, where before it was probably about 40%. It is also very easy to seem like you understand what someone is saying if you just grunt, probably the most common response to any comment or question. It has taken a while, but we are starting to think more in Chinese rather than in English, which is a big step. An easy example that happens all the time is if someone asks you a question such as “Can you speak Chinese?”, the English speaker would respond “yes” or “no”. In Chinese you say “Can.” It is very hard to not respond with the words yes or no, but we are both getting much better at it. I had 2 census workers come to my apartment yesterday, and when I opened the door both of their jaws actually dropped. It is was pretty funny, and I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t wearing a shirt, I was a foreigner not wearing a shirt, or just in awe of my incredibly chiseled physique, but they were so dumbfounded that they couldn’t even utter a sound. I told them 2 people lived here, both Americans, and that we are teachers, and they both had huge smiles and said that was all they needed. It is going to be hard going back to America and not treated with the same level of awe, but it will also be nice to just fit in, so what can you do?

Alrighty, as I said before, check back in a few days, we will have some updates with our travels and friend visiting (picture of him and his girlfriend below). We are almost at the 20,000 views mark too, so we will have to have a huge tonedeaftravelers post/pictures extravaganza when that happens. So get excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Bye bye everyone.

The Master said, “From a gentleman consistency is expected, but not blind fidelity.” (Analects, 15.36)

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