Archive | January 2014

Third Breakfast Photos


My Third Breakfast in China

ZayNur, Morielle’s student and house-sitter, made my third breakfast in China! She is Uyghur and so very nice. She is getting used to my taking pictures of her cooking in the kitchen.

She put together my favorite things eggs and pancakes: thinner and more yellow than my pancakes. To eat them she rips off a little of the pancake with her fingers; rolls it up into a little swirl: no plate, no knife, no fork.

My mom ripped off a piece for me, encouraged me roll it up and hold it in my hand. No thanks. I did not like the greasy, egg-y feeling on my fingers. ZayNur found me a little bowl and a fork, and with a knife my mom cut up the egg for me to eat with the fork.

I liked the egg pancakes very much but not so much the style of eating. I don’t need to learn the new things all in one day. Instead of cereal or oatmeal Uyghur people eat this. It is called ` Poshkal ‘ in Uygher and ‘ Ji Dan Bing‘ in Chinese. My vitamins, medicine and my fruit made my breakfast a little familiar.

Then, I worked on my feelings pages. Morielle’s cats came to watch me and I showed ZayNur all the things I write down about my days: Morielle explained things like `exercise’ `exhausted’ and other English words ZaiNur did not understand.

For lunch Zaynur made Jiaodz. I helped her roll out the little dumpling wrappers. It looks easier than it is: `don’t push too hard, Mathalia, and not too flat.’

It was fun making them and taking pictures of ZayNur wrapping them up into cute little bundles of dumplings. They were delicious!

I used chopsticks for a while and then when we had to `be quick’ in order to get ready for Morielle’s church, I started to use a fork. I want ZayNur to show me how to use chopsticks. I am sure by the time I get home that I will be very good!

Morielle’s church was in a house just like my old church. There were some benches but my mom and I sat on the bed. Of course, I did not understand each word BUT I understood the whole service: singing, confessing sins, praying. Just like in Guatemala everyone prays out loud and at the same time. I prayed my own prayer in English.

Morielle told about my faith and baptism so I could participate in celebrating The Lord’s Supper. This was very important to me. I could tell that my mom was having `cleanliness issues’ but she got over it because she wanted to come together as one in the body of Christ. Later she said, `God will have to take care of the germs part.’ 🙂

I understood The Lord’s Prayer in Chinese but I said it in English with a soft voice. No one noticed the difference. My mom was `giving thanks’ as she likes to do.

My Second Breakfast in China

My Second Breakfast in China came after my second night’s sleep in China, of course. The second night my parents chose `stress-free’ hotel. They chose `stress-free’ sightseeing and then `stress-free’ sleeping. Hah!

We arrived in Urumqi, picked up our bags and went outside looking for a taxi. Some taxi drivers talked to them. They looked at the three of us and all our stuff and said: 300 Yuan. My dad said, `Let’s get out of here. I am not going to let another drive take advantage of us.’

We pushed through the big quilt doors again having felt the very cold Urumqi night air less than 10 minutes.
My parents were thrilled with the accommodations: no armrests on the benches, dark and quiet space on the second floor. My mom and I did the bathroom, brush-teeth thing with our own water- bottle. My mom `gave thanks’ for the water cooler with drinking water next to bathroom.

We settled down with our airplane pillows, our eye-masks, and our coats for blankets. We slept from 1:30 until the security officers woke us up at 4:00 a.m. We did not understand their words but we understood their pointing. So we went to another place that was more crowded. This time the Chinese loudspeaker woke us up.

After our morning bathroom routine my mom continued to `give thanks.’ She was thankful to find hot water so she could make coffee with Costco coffee packets. My parents chose rice for breakfast instead of noodles because we needed to be quick in order to catch our flight to Aksu. I liked the rice with egg and my Dad liked the little bits of meat. It came with a big `Chinese’ spoon so eating was easy and quick.

My mom and I used the bathroom again and my dad was calling to us to `be quick’ because they are boarding our flight. Thankfully this time we got in and out without any drama. We walked outside through quilt doors to a bus. The bus took us to the airplane. We were on time. They did not wait for us. In fact we were not the last ones on the plane!

On the flight we got some more breakfast: water bottles and Chinese cookies. So my second breakfast in China came with a dessert! Chinese flights are a lot nicer that in the United States: you don’t need to eat before you get on the plane.

In Aksu my mom was excitedly taking pictures of the plane and walking through the quilted doors. Then we started to look for Morielle. And there she was waving at us!!

Again we used the bathroom before going to the car. This was a real Chinese bathroom: no toilet seat, no toilet paper, no soap for washing hands. My mom said the Chinese style of squatting is really cleaner than ours but that we need to remember to bring our own toilet paper.

`Don’t worry Mathalia, we will get used to it and Morielle will help us!

My First Breakfast in China

My first breakfast in China: noodles with green vegetables, little bits of meat and other things Chinese.

We got to the hotel very late Beijing time. I don’t know what Missoula time was but I was very tired. I skipped a shower and my mom helped me with brushing my teeth, just like in Guatemala: water bottle into the bathroom for rinsing and swishing. The hot pot in the room made her very happy because teeth brushing had used up all our water-bottle water.

My parents decided NOT to go into the city for breakfast. I got a real Chinese breakfast in a real Chinese restaurant! It was sort of like a breakfast at a Comfort Inn but not really because there was a lot of pointing and smiling: instead of cold cereal, I got hot noodles; instead of a fork, I got chopsticks.

I was watching the Chinese people eat their noodles. My dad tied to show me how to slurp them up too. When this was not going so well, our new friends brought me a very cool Chinese spoon. This helped me eat the soup the part but I still could not manage the noodles. Everyone was watching me. They noticed that I was having trouble and they wanted to help. The next thing they brought was a little bowl and a fork.

My mom used all the tools available: chopsticks to move noodles from big bowl to little bowl; fork to cut the noodles shorter; and the spoon for me! I enjoyed a very delicious breakfast.

My dad was curious about everything: Chinese bread and Chinese sweet potatoes cooking by the fire. I was very curious about everything too: looking around the restaurant. Breakfast took a long time.

After that there was lots of talking and picture taking. My mom made a pot holder while I was eating so slowly. I was very happy because even though I didn’t make it myself, I could give it to the cook. After breakfast we packed up our stuff and went back to the airport.

Sightseeing in Beijing was all done! My parents chose less stress and Morielle agreed: save the sightseeing for the Taklamakan Desert, Hotan and Kashgar.

Not much excitement in the Beijing Airport until just before we got on the plane for Urumqi. My mom and I went to the bathroom and then we couldn’t get out! My mom was trying to turn the knob.

Outside in the hallway, my dad was out calling to us: `hurry up! Hurry up! They are boarding for Urumqi!’

Finally my mom called out in English: `Help! Help! We need help!’

And someone helped us. We don’t know who: there was a whole crowd of women laughing with us when we stepped out of the stall. Everything was okay we were on time for our flight. I was `scared and frightened.’ And then I was `brave.’ We were moving closer to Morielle!