Day 321 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 28-32

 

The butcher and her shop.

The butcher and her shop.

After we picked up the rice, the Mongolian ladies wanted to buy some beef.

Mongolian beef, from what I’ve heard, is amazing.

I’m a vegetarian so I don’t know if that is true but it sells for a lot on the black market in Beijing.

Now, you may ask, how does one get Mongolian beef across the border since it is illegal to take meat, or other perishable products, across them.

This is where a really good driver, and connections, seem to come in handy.

We drove up to a butcher and stopped.

Actually, we drove up to a house, in which a butcher shop seemed to open, and the ladies went in to buy some beef.

Jill stayed outside and rested while I went in to see what was going on.

There was a guy cutting the ribs and a woman selling it.

This obviously was a well known place and the lady knew Diana and these women.

They come here a lot obviously.

After I left the butcher house, I looked around and noticed one of the strangest advertisemnts I’ve seen in a long time.

A huge black guy, and a tall white women, all pumped up and rippling with muscles.

This was on the side of one of the buildings near the butcher house and one of the ladies pointed to it and said, “Gym!”

I’m not sure why a black man, and a white woman, who are seemingly pretty steroided up would help in advertisements, but I guess it does.  Strange.

We hopped back in the SUV and started our return voyage to Erlian, China.

We had to do the reserve trip being that we left Mongolia first, and then headed into China.

It took a bit longer because the Mongolian government really seemed to be searching cars that went back to China and we though the beef, which was hidden under the seats, was going to be found.

Luckily, it wasn’t and we jumped back in the SUV and headed for China.

By the way, after the pictures, I posted a video of Diana and the other women speaking Mongolian.  It is a beautiful language and well worth listening/watching as we drive through, “No Man’s Land.”

When we went through Chinese immigration, it got a bit dicey.

The guards there saw I had a “Z Visa” which is a work visa.  I sincerely doubt ANY person on a Z visa comes to Erlian for a visa run because the company that hired you sponsors you and you don’t have to do these stupid visa runs.

The guards really took along time and were very officious and called over their boss and he kept looking at the Passport and then back at me as if I was some kind of criminal.

They finally let me through and then gave the same treatment to Jill.

After about 15 minutes we were done and waited for Diana and her car by the Rainbow Statue.

After that she dropped us back at our hotel and we hung out until the next taxi driver, which our buddy, Moeava, set us up with, came to pick us up.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 320 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 24-28

 

My ticket and passport stamp to leave China.

My ticket and passport stamp to leave China.

Now the fun starts.

We headed towards the border and arrived at it.

Everyone jumped out of the SUV and started walking.  No one said anything to us, so Jill and I weren’t sure what to do, but we jumped out and followed them.  We figured that they are the pros and we will just pay attention and try not to upset any border guards.

Jill’s Visa, by the way, is a one year tourist visa.  Her visa rules force her to leave China every 90 days or she becomes illegal.  The fine for having overstayed your visa in China is 1000RMB a day.  This comes out to 160 USD.  In other words, we don’t want to have to pay this absurd amount of money and we don’t want to upset any border guards.

Did I mention that this is the 90th of Jill’s 90 days?  Yep, due to circumstances of my job, Chinese holidays, and whatnot, we ended up taking this risk and were a bit concerned if anything went wrong.

So far, so good.

As we walked up, the others took out 5RMB and paid for border crossing tickets.  We pulled out 10RMB and did the same.

We continued our journey by walking near the rainbow bridge of freedom, since we are leaving China, and into their customs and immigration building.  The guards there seemed very bored, annoyed, and not happy at all.  However, after a few minutes, they let us through.

We walked out of the building and across the road was a white guy in a red track suit.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the last thing I expected to see, walking outside of the China customs and immigration building is a white guy in a red track suit.

I noticed, quite quickly, that his name was printed on his jacket.  I looked and read, “Adam” and turned to Jill and said, “How weird is that, our names are almost the same!”

There were about 15 Chinese or Mongolians hanging around outside and Adam quickly came up to us and introduced himself.

He and his buddy, Jimmy, were doing the visa run also but their ride had gotten stuck in customs so they were in “no man’s land” between China and Mongolia and had to catch a ride over to Mongolia because it is illegal to walk across the zone in between.

We said we had no idea if Diana would take someone else but they could ask her when she showed up as she seems to do this a lot and she might have room.

We found out that Adam is a tennis coach, here in Beijing, and hails from Poland.

Jimmy teaches in Beijing and is from Philadelphia.

They took the 12 hour bus ride up, the night before, and were hoping to catch the bus back down immediately after doing the run.

However, they possibly could have been stuck here for a long time if no one agreed to let them hop in.

This doesn’t seem like a big deal but we saw jeeps with 10-15 people smashed in them and with luggage on the roof and the front hood.  We even saw jeeps with people hanging out the doors.  It is sort of insane.

Diana showed up and I told Jimmy and Adam to talk to her and she agreed and they climbed into the back of the SUV and crushed themselves into the area.

Adam must be about 6 feet tall and Jimmy was probably 6’4″.  These guys were not small and it did not look comfortable.

We then went through a few checkpoints and drove over no man’s land.

We stopped at the Mongolian Customs and Immigration building and piled out.

The Mongolian immigration agent had to be the most unfriendly and rude person I’ve ever met.

She sneered at me, ignored anything I said, and when I said, “Xie xie” to thank her for giving me back my passport, she was very sarcastic and snotty.

Welcome to Mongolia!

Jill went through and decided she wouldn’t say “Xie xie” since she didn’t deserve it.

Revenge is sweet!

At that point we piled back into the SUV and headed for the main shopping area in Erenhot, Mongolia.

We sat around as the Mongolian women did some shopping and then jumped back in the SUV to do errands with Diana as we wanted to see what the city looked like other than a shopping mall.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 319 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 18-24

 

Leaving China makes a rainbow.

Leaving China makes a rainbow.

And the sun rose on Erlian.

And on us.

We woke up and looked out the windows of our hotel room.

Erlian is a pretty damn boring place, sad to say.

Honesty is the best policy, right?

As we got up, we decided to try the buffet breakfast, which was included in our hotel stay, we were pretty worried that it would be all meat and eggs.

Erlian is on the Mongolian border and Mongolia is a serious meat eating country.

We were pleasantly surprised since there was a decent amount of vegetarian options, although no fruit, and we ate up our food and decided to walk around Erlian and get some pictures of the people and the place.

There is one thing Jill and I love about China and that is the doggies.  As you know, if you follow this blog, we love the dogs and take a lot of pictures of them.  The dogs here seemed to be somewhat skittish, and we are guessing they are not treated as well as the dogs in Beijing, and they looked more like they were homeless.

Jill and I really enjoyed the Mongolia script for their language and how the signs were in Chinese, Mongolian and Russian in many places.

I had no idea that so many Russians would be near this area, but since it is part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, it makes sense for the signs to have all three languages written out.

After walking around for a bit, we went back to our rooms to get ready as we were meeting Diana at 9 am to start the border crossing journey.

Jill took the first shower and stepped out of it into a puddle of water.

The shower wasn’t built quite right so the water from it drained out into the bathroom.  There is a drain, under the sink, for the water to drain into as a back up but the floor was tilted towards the toilet so that didn’t help at all. I took my shower and we basically were walking in water whenever we went into the bathroom again.  It flat out didn’t drain at all.

Other than that, our stay at the hotel was fine and we would stay there again if we need to go to Erlian on another trip.  I guess that is about the best review I could give it.  In fact, I basically gave that review on Tripadvisor the next day.

As we would be returning to Beijing this afternoon, we checked out of our hotel, which cost us about 40 USD for the night, and waited for our driver, Diana.  We had no idea what she looked like and we had chatted, briefly, on WeChat a week before to make sure she had space for us.

A nice SUV drove up and his very cute and perky woman of about 35 showed up and said, “Hi!” to us.  We jumped in her car and she started playing American music on the radio and singing.  She was friendly and smiled a lot as we drove to our first destination.

Jill and I didn’t really have a clue what would happen.  Our friend, Moeava, telling us that she’s the best and she’ll take us on some errands during our trip.  We were looking forward to seeing what would happen and a tiny bit apprehensive.

We ended up driving to a big parking lot with lots of other jeeps and trucks with people waiting around.  This is where most the other visa run people meet and haggle for the lowest price to go over the border and back.

Three other people, including a 50 year old mother and her 25 year old daughter, got in.  The mother and daughter couple were from Mongolia, originally, and now live in Beijing.  They have to make this run every 30 days to be able to stay in China.  This gives you an idea of how much more they are paid in Beijing compared to Mongolia and why there aren’t a lot of people that choose to stay in Mongolia if they can work elsewhere.

The mother and daughter both spoke English and were very nice.  The other guy didn’t speak English but did speak Mongolian and they all talked among each other.

As we drove around, Diana did some of her errands and picked up, or dropped off, stuff that she had picked up in Mongolia.

She told us she does this run 4-5 times a day and usually takes about 4-5 people.  We paid about 25 bucks each, for our run, and if you add this up, that is a serious amount of cash just to take people back and forth across the border each day, especially in Northern China or Mongolia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Day 318 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 12-18

 

The gateway to Erlian. These are the doors that soon would be chained and locked.

The gateway to Erlian. These are the doors that soon would be chained and locked.

After 12 hours on the train, we disembarked.

Dan and Krick were continuing on to Ulan Batur and than over to Moscow so we had to say our goodbyes.

Krick actually had wanted to fly up because of the 36 hour train ride to UB but Dan wanted to take the train because of the change over at the border.

This is one of the oddities of traveling across different countries.

China, and Mongolia, have different sized train tracks.

So, when a train crosses the border, the train actually has to stop for about 3 or 4 hours, and be taken apart car by car.

Each car is taken into a hangar and the wheels are replaced with different sized ones depending on which country the train is entering.

We actually couldn’t find Dan and Krick inside the station so we left and looked around outside for them.

We didn’t seem them outside the station so we walked back in and then we just getting off the train.

As we talked, exchange goodbyes and hugged, the station attendant put a huge chain around the doors and locked us inside the station with the other passengers that were continuing on the trip!

We ran over, told him we had to leave in our best pantomime, and he unlocked the lock and took down the chain so we could leave.  I’m guessing that they lock everything up so that people can leave, or board, the train while they are stopped at Erlian.

We then walked across the street, turned the corner, and checked in at our hotel, The Haifeng Hotel.

Our buddy, Moeava, who I had just met a few weeks ago at The Big Smoke in Beijing, had hooked us up with the best hotel to stay at, the driver we need to get across, and back, from the border, and a driver to take us to the airport, told us to go to this hotel as it is “the only one without cockroaches and doesn’t have prostitutes calling you are 3 am” in Erlian.

Jill and I decided that sounded like good advice and heeded it.

After we checked in, we went up to the 4th floor and found a room with two twin beds.

Not how we wanted to spend this quick vacation.

So, we went back downstairs and asked for a bigger bed.  They were very nice and gave one to us.  The room was actually reasonable and, for a place like Erlian, not too shabby.  I don’t think the floors had been vacuumed in a few months but it is what it is.  And, it is Erlian.

Jill and I went out for a quick walk and noticed that the town is pretty small and fairly limited in things to do at 9 pm on a Wednesday. This didn’t surprise us so we went back to our room fairly quickly and opened a bottle of wine to relax and hang out until we fell asleep.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 317 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 8-12

 

Trains carrying coal are everywhere.

Trains carrying coal are everywhere.

We continue through the countryside heading North to Mongolia and spent time hanging out with Dan and Krick.

We feel very lucky we ran into them because they were great travel partners and a joy to hang out with during the time.

They work, according to factual evidence, in “the most isolated spot in the world.”

Their job entails making sure that the fuel and energy systems in McMurdo Station, Antarctica, keep running at all time.  They work 6 days a week, about 12 hours a day, and it is not an easy job.

They are both in great physical shape since they are constantly on the move, carrying heavy equipment and doing hard labor.

They seem to love their job, especially the peace and quiet they get and time together.

This sounds isolated enough but it is, excuse my pun, just the tip of the iceberg.

The job they did this year included them staying 500 miles away from McMurdo Station and running some type of outpost on their own.

They said it was amazing and interesting and that there would be groups that would come in and do research but that they were alone, in the middle of frozen nature, for much of the time.

I wondered about cabin fever, since they are married and out there almost entirely with each other, and they said they didn’t really get it.  They seemed to love the quiet, solitude and time together to really enjoy each other.

We seemed to have a lot in common and hanging with them made the 12 hour train ride fly by in seconds.

They are both in the mid-30s and also thinking about what they want to do for their lives.

In this way, they are sort of different than Jill and me.  We are looking to keep moving and keep traveling all over the world.  I actually want to touch all seven continents before I die and hopefully can achieve that within the next 10 years.  I have a feeling Jill would be more than happy to do the same.  Our plan, once her websites really take off, and my contract ends, is to travel the world for the next umpteen years and live in each place for 6 months at a time.  This will allow us to find friends, see the sights, and then move on and see what else is out there in this huge world of ours.

Dan and Krick, on the other hand, are starting to think of settling down.  They have been traveling for the last 10 years or so, and want to have a place to call their own.

Krick told us that they basically haven’t even had a closet to put their jackets in when they come home because of their jobs and their traveling.  I could see how this would get quite tiring just living out of boxes and not having a place to ground yourself.

We had long discussions about the type of lifestyles we all lead and how this affects us in regards to relationships, family, and our ways of thinking about reality.  My mom, and Jill’s parents, have told us that if we ever want to come “home” we can stay with them.  I think having that peace of mind is very helpful and allows us to roam more freely and openly because we know that, if something happened, we have a place to go.  That being said, I doubt that I will want to live in the USA again unless something changes drastically.  I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new places, and myself, when traveling that I don’t want to give this up.

It is one of the reasons that I choose not to have kids.  I want the freedom to move around, travel, and not be tied down to anything other than what I carry with me at that moment.  Jill is the same way.  Many people I know tell me that they couldn’t imagine their lives without their kids and I’m glad for them.  I just know I couldn’t imagine my life with kids.  I like my choices and I’m glad Jill does also.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Day 316 in Beijing: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 4-8

 

The lovely Jill and me.  Cheers!

The lovely Jill and me. Cheers!

You may be wondering why we are going to Erlian, China and then across the border to Erenhot, Mongolia.

A simple answer is it is inexpensive.  We basically have to leave the country every 90 days for Jill’s tourist visa not to become illegal.

We have choices where we can go and what we can do.

We’ve been to Malaysia twice and love it.

However, we are planning a big trip this summer to Europe and wanted to save some cash so we decided to do the Erlian Visa Run (as it is known around here) instead of going to Hong Kong or some place else that would have been much more expensive.

Back to our journey:  We hung out in the cabin for a bit and relaxed.

Sadly, Jill’s Kindle decided to poop out on us and we didn’t want to distract our cabin mate, Zheng, with our idle conversations, so we decided to hit the dining car and see what was going on there.

It was a fairly spacious place and we were the first to show up.  It opened at 1030 so we were right on time as we walked in at 1030 on the dot.

As we hung out, and drank some water, the expatriates that we met in the Beijing Railway Station showed up and we welcomed each other.

Other expatriates and Chinese or Mongolian nationals showed up also.

We decided it was time for a beer and just watched the beautiful scenery fly by.

Now, beautiful may not be what you expect from a trip to Inner Mongolia but it was, especially just outside of Beijing.

There are a lot of mountains outside out Beijing and it is quite beautiful, and when the pollution cleared up as we exited the city, it became even more gorgeous.

As we meandered north, we actually saw some vineyards and wineries.  I have been told the the Chinese wine market is the largest in the world with the Chinese drinking 1.2 billion gallons of wine a year.  And they have really just learned about wine in the last 10 years so this will be the biggest market ever seen in a very short time.  Red China loves Red wine.  Especially if they can add Coca-Cola to it.  Yes, I’ve seen this happen before.

Anyway, two expatriates entered the dining car and they didn’t have anywhere to sit so we invited them to sit with us.

Jill and I were very glad we did.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Day 315: Erlian Trip: Erlian, Mongolia Visa Run: Hours 0-4.

 

Sunrise at Beijing Subway Station.

Sunrise at Beijing Subway Station.

Our trip started at 5:45 am on Wednesday, April 10th.

This trip is not really a vacation as much as an escape.

An escape from China, for about 2 hours, so that Jill can meet her tourist visa (L Visa) requirements of leaving China ever 90 days.

It is a bit of a pain because we’d rather leave during holidays and use our work time/play time more efficiently, but that is what happens when you live an expatriate life.  We choose to live in China so we choose to live by their rules.

So, we headed off to the Beijing Railway Station and out of our house at 6 am.

We got to the subway, which was actually somewhat busy for that time of the day, and boarded.

We had one wheel on piece of luggage and one backpack.

We brought along our computers to do work on the train and also to watch some movies in case we were bored with the scenery.

The subway zoomed along and we made one transfer and arrived at the station with an hour or so to spare.

Sometimes the train stations can be a horrific mess of people and confusion so we wanted to get there early and be able to relax.

To be honest, Jill went down the day before to get our tickets and make sure we were going to the right place since we would actually be crossing out of China on the 90th day of her visa.  That meant no mistakes and no screw ups or she would be illegally living in China and forced to pay a 500RMB (80 USD) a day fine.  We were also worried that the Chinese government may not give her a one year visa, for this year, if she did anything that might draw their attention.  It is dangerous to cut it so close but for many reasons, we chose to do it.  It would have been no one’s fault but our own if we didn’t make it because we made the choice to wait this long.

As we looked around for the correct ticket counter, we asked a guy to take a picture of us.  He took a couple and I actually love the way the older couple behind us move in it even if we stood still.  It gives a very alive feeling to a picture that could feel locked in time.

We found the right ticket counter, and went through security, and then sat down to wait.  There were about 4 or 5 other expatriates, from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who were being trained as tour guides for a company, and we hung out with them.

We then noticed an elderly Chinese woman who started to gargle water.  As she did this, she walked over to the edge of her seat row, and spit it out on the floor.  She proceeded to do this three times.  She also left all of her garbage on the station floor and seemed not to care about it.  Sadly, this is fairly common in China and it seems that many people don’t care about cleaning up after themselves.  Many people, inlcuding us, have cleaning people for their apartments, and cooks, and so they let someone else do all the “dirty work” for them and seem to have taken on a self-centered thought process that it isn’t their job and so they leave it for someone else.

We find that the worst part of living in China and what frustrates us since we have to walk around and constantly be on the look out to not step in spit, pee and, honestly, poop from people who go bathroom on the streets.

The station P.A. system let us know that it was time to board and we went to our cabin.  It was a four person cabin that each had beds in it so that the people continuing on to Ulan Batur, and the final destination of Moscow, could sleep as they desired.

We thought we’d have the cabin all to ourselves but, at the last minute, and gentleman walked in and sat down.  He introduced himself as “Zhang” and we introduced ourselves also.  He spoke English quite well and we talked for a while.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Day 273 in Beijing: Freedom Chosen.

Jill and me at the Sultanate's Water Wheel in Malaysia.

Jill and me at the Sultanate’s Water Wheel in Malaysia.

Something I’ve been pondering lately is the meaning of freedom.

For many it is having the freedom to buy what you want, go where you want, and do what you want.

For me it is more ambiguous.

It is more a way of life and a way of thinking that allows me to have freedom.

The way I ended up coming to China is a perfect example.

As is my relationship with Jill.

As is my desire to be a minimalist in almost everything I do.

As is my way of being a therapist.

I attempt to be as efficient as possible.

Life is too short, in my humble opinion, not to be efficient and not to enjoy it.

That is how I define freedom.

I left my job in California with only a plan to travel the world.

I wanted to start in Mexico, then go south.

I’d jump over to Cuba, since I love Cuban culture, dancing and music.

Then I’m go over to Europe to see my friend, Isabel Oller in Spain, and visit other places and people.

Lastly, I was going to head over to Asia.

Since my brother lives in China, he knew some people and he thought I should send over my resume.

Plans changed immediately.

Freedom Chosen.

I was hired to come to Beijing and be a therapist at the most amazing company I’ve ever worked for at this point.

I also was waiting for the San Francisco Carnaval Parade 8 days before I left to see friends, salsa dance, and say goodbye to “mi familia” there.

I ran into the woman that would become my girlfriend, Jill Loeffler, and we spent the next 8 days together and she saw me off at the airport.

1.5 months later she arrived and we haven’t been apart for a day yet.

Freedom Chosen.

She had the freedom to do this because she quit her high-paying, and incredibly stressful job, about 3 years ago and has traveled and started her own websites.

She lived in Airbnb apartments for the past 2.5 years because she didn’t want to be tied down to a rental agreement and stuck in one place.

Freedom Chosen.

She has traveled to Mexico, Spain, Morocco, France, Turkey, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Some of these were with me and most were on her own.

Freedom Chosen.

She moved to China and we’ve since traveled to Malaysia and Singapore.

We plan to do a train ride across the Silk Road and into Turkey this summer.

Freedom Chosen.

A very important ideal in my way of doing Behavioral Therapy is that regrets really aren’t useful in most cases.

They can be if they allow you to be more productive and keep you moving forward but I’ve found that the same results can usually be achieved from a much more positive outlook where cognitive distortions and negative self talk are minimized and questioned.

We both think in the same manner, although Jill has never done therapy, while I needed Behavioral Therapy to figure out my self.  I have helped Jill with some negative thoughts using a daily mood log and she figured it out as quickly as anyone I’ve ever met.  She lives in the present and doesn’t rely on the past to make her decisions for her.

Freedom chosen.

Because of our choices in life we have both found jobs, or made them ourselves, that allow us to live this style of life.

We chose not to have kids.

We chose not to have property.

We chose not to be tied down.

We chose not to live in the past or with regrets.

We chose not to worry about events we can’t control.

We chose not to worry about what most other people do.

We chose to live our lives, while treading softly on the Earth, as best we can.

We chose to live as examples of how two people can live, love and bring happiness to others that want to come along for the ride.

We choose Freedom.

Freedom Chosen.

 

 

Day 254 in Beijing: Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is the first Valentine’s Day with my darling, Jill.

We will be spending it, somewhere, in Beijing.

It will a Friday night here, and a day before you experience it, so we will probably go out to dinner, hang out with some friends, and just see what the day brings us.

I work on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays so we will have the whole day to relax, lounge around, and just kick back.

I used to be a pretty reactive and emotional guy.

I dealt with my own depression and anxiety for many years.

I then learned about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and found that both depression and anxiety are primarily lies that I’m telling myself about me.

They are either cognitive distortions or just flat out mistaken beliefs that perpetuate the problems that I’m causing.

It really did come down to the fact that I’m making my own problems and causing them to occur each and every time I had a thought, had a feeling, or did an action.

The joy of this realization is that it also gives me the ability to change all of the beliefs, emotions and actions that I take and become a truly happy and content person.

I think back to the years of pain and anguish I felt and wonder what would have happened if I had learned about this therapy, and began practicing it with my clients, when I was 20 years old or younger.

I know it doesn’t really matter because one can’t change the past and yet I think that is one of the reasons that I practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy now: It can cure issues very quickly and is far better than any other therapy out there as shown by any evidence-based studies.

The pain you, or someone you know, is going through can be reduced immensely and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or “soul searching.”

Freedom to live your life is in your hands at this very moment.

The question is, “Will you take it?”

I did and I am glad I choose never to go back to those patterns again.

My parents, my society, and my peer group no longer defines what I do.  It is up to me to live the life I want and no make excuses for my thoughts, emotions or behaviors.

This is where Valentine’s Day fits in.

I met Jill 8 days before I left for China.

We met at the San Francisco Carnaval parade.

We spent the next 8 days together and I invited her to come with me to China.

She had been living in Airbnb apartments for the last 2.5 years, and, when her agreement ran out, she came over.

That was 6.5 months ago.

We both take responsibility for our actions, thoughts and behaviors and try to treat each other as well as possible.  There is almost no drama or disagreements because we are open, fair and try to anticipate what the other wants and we make sure each person has their needs met to the best of our abilities.

The way I see it is if we can make it, living in Beijing, and building a brand new life here, everything else will be a breeze.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my darling Jill!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Day 210 in Beijing: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year in a new country!

Happy New Year in a new country!

 

I wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope that you are with friends, family and people you love.

Jill and I entered Singapore today to celebrate and since we are a “day ahead” of many of our friends back home, here are a few pics from the party we had here.

It is pretty cool to enter a country on the last day of a year and so I’ve added a picture of my passport here with the stamps as we left Malaysia and entered Singapore today.

Here is a video I shot of the celebration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2_JTIarEH0

Cheers!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.