Have you ever heard the saying,”A picture is worth a thousand words”? To me seeing the objects in the pictures are worth much more. This last summer was my opportunity to see a thousand word picture in person, when I got to go teach in China. There were so many different thoughts that went through my head on my way there such as: Is China just like history books portray it to be? What’s the food like? What are the people like and how will they react to the teachings? In my essay I hope to show you that although pictures may be worth a thousand words visiting the locations inside the photos are worth much more.
After a long 16 hour flight and being sleep deprived I landed in the populous city of Qingdoa, China home to over 7 million people. History books only show you the pictures of the traditional houses and the building structures but not what the less populated cities look like. So my view of China was soon changed. As I found out there isn’t a huge difference from the city structures here in the U.S. except maybe a few more malls and a huge price difference on items. There are malls and department stores on every corner. Full of the newest clothes and all the popular items like games, shoes, and jewelry. I didn’t know there could be that many different stores each with different clothes none the same. Also a big difference is the price on any and every item in China. Almost everything you could want was at a discounted price but then there was a way of bargaining them down. You never pay the full price for anything. If it was 7 US dollars you try to bargain the person down to at least 4 dollars.
There are Chinese restaurants everywhere but duh I was in China right? What we imagine Chinese food to be like is nothing at all what the real stuff is. For example I asked someone if they knew where to get egg rolls and they just looked at me like I was crazy. The real stuff is so much different. In fact hard to even describe. It’s not all Chinese food in Qingdao though they also have Italian, Indian, Mexican, and Russian food along with Pizza Hut, TCBY, KFC, and Starbucks. So pretty much they could satisfy any taste.
Seeing that there are over 7 million people you’re likely to converse with someone. The whole reason I went to China in the first place was to get to know the people and help them learn their English through the books of the Bible. I don’t know why but I guess I didn’t expect them to be so friendly and open. As soon as you meet someone they treat you as if you were part of their family. I had 7 students from the ages of 11 to 26 both boys and girls. Teaching them from 9 to 6 everyday. Although many of them have never heard of God or the Bible they were very accepting and yearned to learn more and more. In the two and a half weeks I was there they became like family to me and I love and pray for each and every one of them daily.
In the end my questions were answered and I now have a whole new look on an easily stereotyped country. I hope that I have shown you that although pictures may be worth a thousand words visiting the locations inside the photos are worth much more.
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