Christmas Time~~

I was supposed to follow-up on my previous post and write more about the cultures and why I love China, but then when I was at work today I ended up reading http://amwfcouple.wordpress.com/ ‘s blog about Christmas, and that really got me realizing it really is almost Christmas!
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This year I’m finally celebrating Christmas in Norway, last time I celebrated in Norway was in 2010.. There’s nothing like celebrating Christmas in your home country. Since we (my family) moved to China we have celebrated Christmas in Norway once or twice, I don’t really remember. Last year my family went back to Norway for Christmas while I was in Beijing because I had exams during Christmas and new years, so I had no time to go back. It was weird, not celebrating with my family, I think that in Norway, Christmas is the one time that the whole family gets together and actually sit down and eat dinner and just talk.. haha. It’s definitely not like in China where having family gatherings is like a weekly thing 😛 Although they don’t celebrate Christmas in China, some people celebrate, but that’s mainly because they are or want to be(?) more like western people, I think it’s quite cute! They always put up a lot of decorations and it really gives you a Christmas feeling, they’ve got Christmas trees outside the shopping malls, and just a lot of Christmas decorations.. They just don’t celebrate it! haha.
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This is not my house.. This is a small area close to my house 🙂 but at least you get a Christmas feeling from it~

Anyways, Christmas in Norway is amazing! I love it, all the snow, the traditions, the gifts, just everything!
This year will be very different for me, as I might be working on Christmas, only until 12 pm though, but still, that’s a little weird, but I guess that’s what you get when you work in a kindergarten, where not all the kids celebrate Christmas..
But what’s going to be even more different/better – My 老公 will be here! Of course my family will also be here, but it is the first time my 老公 will celebrate Christmas, and I really want to make it a perfect Christmas for him, so he can experience more of the traditions that I’m used to!.
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So, on the 24th which is when we celebrate in Norway we do lots of things.. Normally kids wake up pretty early and  “santa” / our parents have prepared stockings for us with some small gifts / candy in it, and then you just go to watch tv and eat your candy, they always show  these really nice Christmas movies in the morning. For lunch we normally eat a rice porridge, it’s super sweet and yummy, and we normally put an almond in to the porridge while its cooking and the person who gets it in their bowl gets an award.. You want to guess what ? .. More candy / chocolate.. haha. By the time we finish eating the porridge, it is time to get ready and make yourself pretty.. haha, which I’m sure you guys already are! But we start the Christmas dinner pretty early, normally around 5 pm.. During Christmas dinner people eat different things, depending on the family traditions, but in my family we eat turkey 😀 yummyyyy.
Then it’s time for desert which is… rice porridge, but it’s cold, and much sweeter and we add this raspberry sauce to it, and it is absolutely amazing, we do the same thing with the almond with the desert also, and of course the award is .. chocolate.
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Don’t kill me for posting this! ~~~~ 😀 One of the times I actually bother getting all dressed up.. haha

Then it’s time for my favorite.. The gifts! haha no, I’m just joking, it used to be my favorite, but now I really enjoy the Christmas dinner, its way nicer, opening the presents is just too stressful with so many people having to open presents, as we celebrate with grandparents also..  And of course we also eat a lot of cakes..No wonder why people gain a lot of weight during Christmas..>.< haha
I think this Christmas will be perfect, I will make it perfect, so my 老公 will celebrate in the best way, and just have a good time, because he really deserves that after this semester at Uni.. December 24th – come faster!!!  12月24号可以快点到来么?!
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I can’t waiiiiiit! 😀
Are your traditions anything like Norway’s traditions?!

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中国菜 – Chinese food..

Why do I love China so much ? There are so many reasons why.. But one of the main reasons why is definitely.. wait for it  *drumroll*
The food .. It is just amazing, it looks amazing, tastes amazing, but it doesn’t always smell that amazing .. hehe. Food plays such a big part of their life and culture. Chinese people use it when they greet each other “ 你吃饭了吗?” (Have you eaten yet?), of course this is not something that everyone says, but it is a very common and polite thing to say if you are meeting someone. In China they even got different holidays / occasions where they eat different things.
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My amazing 老公公 & 老婆婆 (they told me to add the 老) haha.

During中秋节 (Mid-autumn festival) which is held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese calendar, during a full moon, which is in late September or early October in the western calendar.  The most common thing to eat at that time is mooncakes, it got many different flavors, and it is “one of those things” you have to get used to eating before you start liking it.. >.<
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While we celebrate New Years, they celebrate another kind of new year in China – “春节” Chinese new year. It is also called the Chinese Lunar New Year, because the date of this is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar, which falls sometime from late January to early February and varies from year to year. The celebration lasts for 15 days. There are many types of dishes that they eat during春节, in Northern parts of China they normally eat饺子 (dumplings) while in Southern parts of China, such as Hong Kong and Guangzhou they normally eat春卷(spring rolls) and年糕(a type of cake), although there are many more dishes these are some of the main dishes during CNY.
I have tasted all of these, but I have to admit I prefer 饺子, it is so amazing.. While we lived in Beijing there was a time when my 老公 and I would eat it everyday.. Which is not the healthiest thing you can eat, but so delicious!

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Enough of the celebrations, like many other countries each major region of China has its own particular kind of food: Beijing is famous for its “Beijing duck”, the food you get in Shanghai is a little sweeter than other places in china, Xinjiang’s style is a little bit like Middle Eastern cuisines, and of course the Sichuan food which is crazy spicy! When you eat Sichuan food in restaurants you probably drink more than you eat!

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And then we got my 老公’s favorite food, he loves the food from 东北 province (North East), which is where he is from, and I will have to agree with him!
After tasting the food from his hometown (满洲里) I’m absolutely in love with it, and every time he cook Chinese food that’s all I want him to cook.. haha.
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真好吃啊~ ~

This is just some of the food that you can get in China, but I hope you now understand why I love the food in China – Not only because of the way it taste but also because there is so much culture behind it also! 我很喜欢中国菜!

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I’m a crazy banana!

 A while ago I found a post on http://myhongkonghusband.wordpress.com  ‘s blog. The person behind this blog is married to a man from Hong Kong and she’s writing about Hong Kong and what its like to be married to someone from another country and culture, it’s actually quite interesting, i enjoy reading it!
Anyhow, she posted a blog entry about  “84 Ways To Know If You’re Chinese”, I assume the list is for Chinese people living in a western country, but I’m sure it will work for me as well, so why not look at the list?.. Maybe I becoming what they call “A weird banana” – meaning, your yellow on the outside and white on the inside.
100% – You should not be living in USA/Canada (or a western country) because you are too chinese
50% –  42 √, you are a banana
Less than 20 √ – You are a proud American..
So here we go!
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1. You unwrap Christmas gifts very carefully, so you can save and reuse the wrapping and next year
2. You only buy Christmas cards after Christmas, when they are 50% off.
3. When there is a sale on toilet paper, you buy 100 rolls
4. You have a vinyl table-cloth on your kitchen table – I do, and its super cute..
5. Your stove is covered with aluminum foil.
6. Your kitchen has a sticky film of grease over it
7. You have stuff in the freezer since the beginning of time
8. You use the dishwasher as a dish rack – haha…
9. You have never used your dishwasher
10. You keep a Thermos of hot water available at all times. – sort of.. I keep a thermos of tea with no taste at all times…
11. You boil water and put it in the refrigerator.
12. You eat all meals in the kitchen
13. You save grocery bags, tin foil, and tin containers – grocery bags, yes.
14. You use grocery bags to hold garbage – It’s so smart
15. You always leave your shoes at the door – I don’t want it to be dirty everywhere..
16. You have a piano in your living room.
17. Your parents know how to launch nasal projectiles.
18. You iron your own shirts. – When I have to yes, but then again, I don’t do it very often..
19. You play a musical instrument. – Before…
20. You pick your teeth at the dinner table (but you cover your mouth). 
21. You twirl your pen around your fingers.
22. You hate to waste food… 
a. Even if you’re totally full, if someone says they’re going to throw away the leftovers on the table, you’ll finish them.
b. You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing. – I’m living alone.. So there’s always a lot of leftovers
23. You don’t own any real Tupperware–only a cupboard full of used but carefully rinsed margarine tubs, takeout containers, and jam jars.
24. You also use the jam jars as drinking glasses.
25. You’ve eaten a red bean popsicle. – It tastes awful !
26. You bring oranges (or other produce) with you as a gift when you visit people’s homes. – In China, when I’m with my 老公..
27. You have a collection of miniature shampoo bottles that you take every time you stay in a hotel.
28. The condiments in your fridge are either Price Club sized or come in plastic packets, which you save/steal every time you get take out or go to McDonald’s.
29. Ditto paper napkins.
30. You never order room service.
31. You carry a stash of your own food whenever you travel (and travel means any car ride longer than 15 minutes)…..These travel snacks are always dried. As in not just dried plums, dried ginger, and beef/pork jerky, but dried cuttlefish (SQUID).
32. You own a rice cooker.
33. You wash your rice at least 2-3 times before cooking it.
34. You spit bones and other food scraps on the table.
35. Your parents vehemently refuse the sack of gold coin oranges that their guests just brought just to be courteous.
36. You fight over who pays the dinner bill
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Yes, this is my 老公 🙂

37. Your dad thinks he can fix everything himself.  – “I’m an engineer, I can fix this!” >.<
38. You majored in something practical like engineering, medicine or law.
39. When you go to a dance party, there are a wall of guys surrounding the dance floor trying to look cool
40. You live with your parents and you are 30 years old (and they prefer it that way).
41. You don’t use measuring cups.
42. You feel like you’ve gotten a good deal if you didn’t pay tax.
43. You beat eggs with chopsticks.
44. Your parents’ house is always cold. – MUM, the heating isn’t working!!!! haha..
45. You have a teacup with a cover on it –
46. You reuse teabags.
47. You have a drawer full of old pens, most of which don’t write anymore.
48. If you’re under age 20, you own a really expensive walkman. If you’re over 20, you own a really expensive camera and/or stereo system.
49. Your mom drives her Mercedes to the Price Club.
50. You always look phone numbers up in the phone book, since calling Information costs 50 cents
51. You tip Chinese delivery guys/waiters more.
52. You’re a wok user.
53. You only make long distance calls after 11pm.
54. You know all the waiters at your favorite Chinese restaurants.
55. You like Chinese films in their original undubbed versions… – because white people’s dubbed movies suck.
a. You love Chinese Martial Arts films.
b. Shao Lin and Wu Tang actually mean something to you.
56. You have acquired a taste for bittermelon.
57. You like congee with thousand-year old eggs. – I’ve tasted it, I don’t love it nor hate it..
58. You prefer your shrimp with the heads and legs still attached–it means they’re fresh.
59. You never call your parents just to say hi.
60. You always cook too much.
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61. If you don’t live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you’ve eaten, even if it’s midnight.
62. Also, if you don’t live at home, your parents always want you to come home.
63. Your parents tell you to boil herbs and stay inside when you get sick.
64. When you’re sick, they also tell you not to eat fried foods or baked goods because they produce hot air – My 老公’s parents – YES
65. You e-mail your Chinese friends at work, even though you only sit 10 feet apart.
66. Your parents never go to the movies.
67. Your parents send money to their relatives in China.
68. You use a face cloth. – So comfortable!
69. Your parents use a clothes line.
70. You’re always late.
71. You eat every last grain of rice in your bowl, but don’t eat the last piece of food on the table.
72. You starve yourself before going to all you can eat sushi.
73. You’ve joined a CD club at least once.
74. You know someone who can get you a good deal on jewelry or electronics.
75. You never discuss your love life with your parents.
76. Your parents are never happy with your grades.
77. You save your old Coke bottle glasses even though you’re never going to use them again.
78. You keep used batteries.
79. You own your own meat cleaver and sharpen it.
80. You keep most of your money in a savings account. – I’m doing my best..
81. You know what MJ means with me
82. You’ve been on the Love Boat or know someone who has.
83. Your toothpaste tubes are all squeezed paper-thin.
84. You take this message and forward it to all your Chinese friends
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Am I a crazy banana? I guess so, and i like it!
Although this is not just because I have lived in 中国(china), I’m pretty sure some of these are things that I’m used to from when I grew up. Many points on the list have influenced me while I was living there, and after I met my 老公, but he thinks that some of these points are strange, so does that make me more Chinese than him? I don’t think so.. I think this list could be used in every culture.  Not only Asians cook too much or have a dad that think that he can fix everything..
Why don’t you try? Are you a crazy banana or a “proud American?”

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中国 vs. 挪威

China vs. Norway, wow.. Where to start?! It is two completely different countries, but at the same time it is so similar in many ways.. Before continuing writing this, I just want to say 我爱中国 (i love china). It feels strange living in Norway after having lived in China for so long.
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I hated China when I first moved there, but after a few months, I was in love with Beijing.
It was just amazing living there, although I went to an international school, and hung out with mostly 外国人(foreigners), I also met many 北京人(local Beijing ppl). Of course as a teenager I thought it was cool exploring 三里屯(sanlitun), a bar area in Beijing, with the other foreigners – (Sorry mum!). However, I guess once I made friends with some local Chinese girls is when I started to seeing the “real china”, and I guess I fell in love with China at that time. After graduating from High School, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do, but I decided to stay another year in Beijing, and study Chinese. Best decision of my life! I loved it. Met so many great people, experienced so many things went to  many places, met my best friend and I met my 老公!
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Moving back to Norway this summer was a bigger culture shock than moving to Beijing in 2008. Everything was so weird, I felt like a tourist in my own country, and I still do. I feel awkward going to the shopping mall, and I feel awkward when I speak Norwegian. As I work in a kindergarten I have to speak Norwegian everyday and it is so strange. Thank God my spoken Norwegian is getting better everyday..
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I used to have this weird feeling when I was talking to the locals, but after I met my 老公, I feel so comfortable talking to Chinese people. Maybe because I have to speak to his parents using only 中文(Chinese), either way, i love it! My Chinese is so poor, but it is getting better day by day! 加油!
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If it was up to me, I would move back to China tomorrow and stay there, but since I’m such a good 女朋友, I’m working in Norway while my 老公 is getting his master degree at the University of Glasgow.

nameee

中国女孩 ~ Chinese girl

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of writing long posts for others to read, but I will do my best.
When I was 13 years old my family found out that we were moving to China, Beijing. At that time I did not know how to react to it, but now after living there for 5 years I am so grateful to have experienced this.
I graduated from High School in Beijing, I studied Chinese at a university for 1 year, met a bunch of great people, made tons of 朋友(friends), visited many places I would never have been to if it wasn’t for my dads job that took us to China and I met the love of my life, cheesy? Yes, I know.. But that’s the truth!
IMG_3924老公,我爱你

nameee