My friends Jarrett and Amy have a little boy that they adopted from China. He is 6 years old and a dear!! :) They also have a beautiful 6 year old daughter from China and two bio girl! They are a blessing to me and I feel so lucky to have become friends with their family!
Mr. Potts is traveling to china for work this week and he wrote the following e-mail. Since it has been almost exactly a year since I was ...where he is now...It was a great snapshot of the time I spent in China. I good reminder of what we here in the US can be thankful for! I hope he does not mind...but I am going to cut and paste his words here!! :) Enjoy.
So this time I came to work and work is just what I did. I got to Shanghai and worked for two days. I did not go out at all. Just work, eat sleep and work out. But I did get the opportunity to observe something which you might find interesting
Smoking here is a government sponsored sport. A pack of smokes will run you about $0.17 to $0.40 China brand. You can buy knock off smokes for about $1 and the real thing for about $6. Anyway, people here smoke so much they barley take time to eat. For example, I sat a few tables from a man that held a lit cigarette in one hand and ate soup with the other. When the cigarette would go out he would stop eating and light another one. The guy was like 50 and not dead. I was shocked.
Yes, spitting is illegal in Shanghai but as with traffic laws, they just do not care. I was in an elevator going up to my room and a guy just hawked one up and spit on the floor. No really. Shanghai is the spitting capital of China.
Facebook is blocked again. It goes in cycles. They open it for a few months then close it for a year or two. This time they closed it because Obama was coming. It is still closed. So is twitter and blogspot too. Anyway, you can get all kinds of crazy things on the Internet but they block facebook. You can buy porn on the street, get it on the Internet but you cannot join a social networking site.
Another thing they do is limit what you can find. For example, you will find nothing bad about the incident in Tian'anmen Square in the late 80’s. Nothing about a guy standing in front of a tank. Oh and for the record they do this with the help of Google. Anyway, if I turn on my VPN I can still find it. Again, they do not want any bad press about the Chinese government. Very odd
Christian websites are a 50/50 shot. If the website mentions china and is a Christian website, poof…. It no longer exists.
The pollution is really bad this time. They have not had rain in Beijing in a few weeks and the wind has died down. It seems to get worse by the day. I think they need to shut down the city again. They can do that here. Right before the Olympics, the only allowed bikes, and taxi’s to drive for about 3 weeks. They also shut down all the factories. Cleared the air up but it is back to where it was before.
For those of you that have been here before, it is all about bargaining when you buy something. They see the round eye coming and the price jumps 400%. Yaw Shaw is one of the most famous places to shop and they have some signs that said “no bargaining”. What is this world coming too? I went to a no bargaining stall and starting haggling with the guy. Again, the sign was just a suggestion (kind of like lane markers)
Church was very interesting. Went to the state sponsored church. You have to show that you are not a citizen of China to get in. So this is for foreigners ONLY. They now allow Chinese to go to Christian churches but they must register and attend a state sponsored Chinese only church. Of course people do not want to register with the government because they fear they will be punished. In the city they have more freedom that way. They actually have a choice. They could go to church if they registered. Now outside of the city there is no government sanctioned church so all church is illegal. This is where house churches spring up. Crazy but true. You can still lose your life for being a Christian in rural China