SOCIAL MEDIA

12 May 2015

We Had Visitors!

Our first week living in ShenZhen, I remember wandering our local park and telling Angel that I wished my parents could come and visit because I knew that they were just the sort of people to really appreciate everything about our new home. I knew that if they were to wander the way we did, they would find their surroundings extremely cool and interesting and would not be the sort of visitors who beg to stay home in the air-con and talk about how "weird" everything was.

We never thought that my parents would visit us, however, in spite of the relatively short plane trip, due to the cost and inconvenience of obtaining a tourist visa and their own busy work schedules. However, at the end of March, they suddenly decided to look into coming, and within a matter of 2 or 3 days they had gotten visas and squeezed a trip into their schedule!

We were so excited to have them stay with us! Angel graciously worked his job and my own last week, teaching almost all of my classes, so that I could act as their local tour guide. Most of what we did with them was nothing huge or dramatic, and no, they didn't see the Great Wall or Forbidden City or any of China's most famous sights, given that we're in ShenZhen, but we gave them the best view we could of our everyday life here and some of ShenZhen's coolest sights.

 
Angel picked them up from the airport by himself. I had a class to teach and wasn't sure if we'd make it home in time for class so I stayed home just to be safe. As it turns out, they made it to our house 10 minutes before I had to leave for class!


Since they had arrived, we brought them along with us to school! We got permission from the school for them to observe one of my classes, so during this lesson on jobs, I had the added pressure of teaching not only in front of my 50 high schoolers, but also my parents!


They got to explore our school's big, beautiful campus, and meet all of our coworkers. Consensus from our coworkers: I look just like my dad, and my parents are very young.


At the local park, the flower art in honor of Labor Day was still up, so they got to see that.


We took them to our favorite restaurant serving SiChuan food for dinner, and ordered a rather tame meal of chili pepper cabbage, minced pork green beans, kung pao chicken, and spicy noodles. Dad and Angel are adventurous eaters, but Mom and I don't tend to get quite so adventurous when it comes to food. I'm way more picky than mom...but just thinking about the green beans and cabbage at this restaurant makes me salivate. This was only the first day!


Window of the World Grand Canyon




I took them to Window of the World, since Mom had thought it was really cool when we told her all about our visit. We're going to be seeing the non-miniature Angkor Wat this summer!


Window of the World Grand Canyon

I found that I missed several landmarks during my first visit to Window of the World. This is their take on the Grand Canyon, which is actually a really large chunk of the park, and I have no idea how I missed it the first time!

Da Fen Oil Painting District, ShenZhen

We also visited DaFen Oil Painting Village--where dozens of shops sell paint and calligraphy supplies, and other shops sell hand-painted copies of famous paintings and various other sorts of art. It's a fun place to wander--while the majority of the art is created off site, there are painters stationed in little alleys all over, and we overheard a couple in discussion with one of these painters about setting a price for him to paint a copy of one of their bridal photos. This is a place I love to explore.


Of course, we had to go to DongMen, which has been our most frequent destination for Saturday shopping during our time in China.


Snacks at DongMen. Angel and Dad enjoyed their Rou Jia Mo.


Sure, we could cross the normal bridge that the cars use to get across this river when coming home from the metro stop, but what fun would that be when you could be crossing like this instead?


After work one afternoon, a saner person might have decided to take the evening off, but we decided to take the 1.5 hour bus ride to ShenZhen's beautiful coastline.
 

It would appear that a real perk of having children young is that when they're grown up and living in China you can keep up with them when they are determined to show you the entire city in 4 days. We also went to the ShenZhen museum, a halal noodle shop, and Walmart. We tried to take them to our favorite huo guo or steamboat restaurant but found, after the long walk there, that it had closed down! We stayed moving, but there's still so much I would have shown them if I'd had the time.


And I haven't even started on our adventures when we spent the weekend with them in Hong Kong...

39 comments :

  1. I'm trying to get my trip planned to go see my daughter. She Lives in Suzjou teaching English.She's been there 9 months already and we really want to go. Looks like you had a great time!

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  2. How wonderful that our parents were able to visit! I am always thinking of the places I want to take my parents to around Iceland, I hope one day they can visit to.

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  3. Looks like you guys had an amazing time! I am so happy for you. I would go crazy if my family lived that far away from me and my husband.

    Kristin // thepeculiartreasureblog.com

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  4. What a great time! That's definitely a perk to being young when one has children! :)

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  5. Lovely pics - I esp love seeing that bridge/rock step over water - very cool!

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  6. What an awesome experience! Looks like you had a blast!

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  7. Wow, you guys packed in so much fun stuff! I love having visitors from far away and showing them around our "home" but I'd imagine it's even more exciting when you're living overseas. Can't wait to read/see more about Hong Kong!

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  8. Oh how fun, so glad they got to visit! Looks like you packed a lot into 4 days!

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  9. Like seriously how young are your parents? You look like siblings! Although, you also do look very young for your age. I'm so happy you got to share your city with them!!

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  10. How awesome they got to visit you and Angel...your parents look so young!

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  11. Wow! How great : ) I'm happy for you.

    You do look very much like your Father. That is a great photo of them.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  12. It is always so much fun having visitors!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  13. How fun! Your pics are so beautiful! I am glad you parents got to see what you guys are up to! I love seeing your posts as they remind me of my students and where they come from!

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  14. I love getting to look into the lives of others :)Thanks for sharing!

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  15. How fun!! I love the idea of visiting friends overseas and getting the perspective of a local. One of my best friends from college is going to do Peace Corps in Cambodia and I just can't wait to go visit her!

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  16. How special that your parents were able to come see where you guys have been living before you move!

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  17. Exploring like that sounds like it must have been both exhilarating and exhausting. Your parents must have had a blast getting to see all the good sights that aren't super touristy! I've always thought those parts were truly the best of what a place has to offer.

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  18. looks like you guys had a great time!

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  19. What a beautiful experience to be able to share with your parents. There is so much beauty in China. Thank you for sharing those lovely photos.

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  20. Aw...so nice to see that your parents squeezed in a visit! It sounds as though you were the consummate host and hostess! Lovely photo of your Mom and Dad. Your Mom has a beautiful aura!

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  21. It's wonderful that your parents were able to visit! That's a rare treat that many expats don't get to experience, showing off your new home to the people who made your childhood home everything it was.

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  22. Oh yikes! Teaching while being observed by admin is stressing, but I can't imagine being observed by my mom!

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  23. One of my friends just moved to ShenZhen too! All the photos are amazing. Hahaha that meal doesn't sounds very tame ;) So lovely to have your parents visit I am also an emigrant and know how amazing a familiar face is. But also the opportunity to show your life in person and what isn't portrayed on skype.

    Thank for sharing
    Jackie

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  24. Oh wow! You had such a wonderful day out! The love shows from the photos. :)

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  25. This is fantastic! I would love to visit a place like this. I can't imagine going on vacation and just wanting to sit indoors all the time. I hate doing that at home. I always want to go on some kind of adventure.

    http://bobaandpearls.com

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  26. Looks like so much fun! Oh my gosh, the painting supplies...*drool*. And that last picture of your parents is so lovely!

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  27. What a lovely experience for your parents, but also for you to share where you are living and all that you have discovered so far. China is a fascinating country. I was lucky enough to visit Beijing and Shanghai in 2012. Enjoy your adventures

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  28. Whoa, 50 high schoolers? That's a big number! Your parents are so lovely, can't believe how young they look/are, your mom is a beautiful lady!
    The Oil Painting Village seems like a place I'd spend at least two days in :D Can't wait to see how your weekend in Hong Kong was!!! ^_^

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  29. Aww! How sweet that your parents could visit. Looks like everyone had a great time!

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  30. How fun! Looks like you all had a great time! (And your pictures make me want to come visit you too, lol). ;-)

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  31. So much fun! I know it was exciting to get to show them a little slice of your life. And your parents are young {so are mine} and you do look a lot like your dad!

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  32. how fun! What a special time all together.

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  33. oh my gosh, you have quite the adventure going on here! I am sooo jealous haha that would be amazing! and that's awesome your parents got to visit you guys :) looks like you showed them some cool sites!
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

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  34. Aww, having visitors is always so nice! <3 I'm definitely not quite as far away as you are, but I'm looking forward to seeing my parents again when I graduate next spring! I wanna show them all the cool places around here! :] That's awesome that you got to take them to school with you (and oh, that added pressure! :P )!

    That painting village looks like it'd be a really fun place to check out, and hoorayyy for snacks! <3

    I've still never had a chance to go to ShenZhen, but my parents are working on getting a visa for me, so hooray for that! :]

    Can't wait to hear about your adventures in Hong Kong! <3 I love it there!

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  35. Looks like you had a great visit. :) I totally want to go to the DaFen oil painting village. That place looks awesome.

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  36. Sounds like you guys did a lot and had a lot of fun. You have beautiful parents.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

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  37. Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm so glad they got to come!

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  38. Whenever I travel, I always opt for the non-tourist attractions over the touristy ones. In fact, in 10 years in San Cristobal de las Casas, we only done one road trip (Lagos Montebello), a Canyon Visit and one to The Zoo. There are some ruins near us (Palenque) and we'd like to make it there some day...

    Have any plans to go to New Zealand or Australia because I'd love a local tour :)

    Your parents look so young. Are you going to tell us how young? Just wondering, not because it matters. My husband is 17 years older than me but you'd never know (he looks young not the other way around unfortunately, smile).

    Besos, Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

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