It’s almost time

In 4 days I will be on my way to Edinburgh, with a one-way ticket. Finally I will see CC again, and his parents, who’s been in Edinburgh for almost a month, and I think CC is about to go crazy 😀 haha. This time will be different though, we are not staying in Edinburgh for long, actually I’m just there for one day before the journey to a new chapter in our lives starts.
The past months have been really busy, I applied for a visa to China which I got, but I also decided to post my resume on a website. Two days later I received an email, from a kindergarten in Beijing, they wanted to arrange a Skype interview with me. I have to be honest, I did not expect too much, but three days later I received an email, saying they were interested in hiring me and they send me the job offer the next day. Of course I was really happy, and I’m still really happy. But, in order to get a work visa in China (I don’t know if this is only for people working in kindergartens) I had to complete a TEFL course, which is a course that gives me a certificate that proves I’m allowed to teach English as a foreign language. So for the past 2 months, I’ve been working on that as well as I’ve been working everyday at my current kindergarten. So pretty much, everything is good to go, I just have to complete the course and CC and I have to find an apartment.

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I never thought it would be this stressful moving back to China, it’s not like I feel stressed in a way that’s annoying, I feel super happy but at the same time really stressed. And when I thought that everything was starting to calm down, I realized “I have to pack my stuff.” >.< I have no idea why I didn’t think of that or do that earlier, so pretty much all this Christmas I have been packing, organizing, looking through all my clothes, given lots of clothes to charity and thrown away some stuff. Unorganized? Maybe. I just finished packing up, and going through all my clothes today, when I realized, all my clothes are in my suitcases, “what will I be wearing the next few days?!” So once again I had to open up my suitcases and find some clothes that I can wear until I leave.

photo 4Started organizing.. or making it more messy maybe? >.< It’s what I called highway to craziness for a few days.. 

photo 2Somewhat organized .. 😀 

photo (2)Finally!!! 😀 

Once I’m on the plane, on my way to Edinburgh, I can finally relax a little. But we still have, lots of work to do, we have to find an apartment that’s located somewhere between where I will work and where CC will work. And for those of you who know, Beijing is not exactly a small city. CC will most likely be working around the Llama temple, while I will most likely be working at the kindergarten located close to the airport. The kindergarten got two kindergartens, one in Shunyi and one in Haidian, at first they wanted me to work in Haidian, but now after I told them I prefer the one in Shunyi, as my old High School is in that area and I know that area much better, it seems like I will be working there. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait. But looking at apartments online is not exactly easy, maybe it’s even more difficult in China, as I know some agencies use fake pictures. And to make it even better, this is something I’m super duper overly extremely excited about – CC’s bestfriend’s dog had puppies a few weeks ago, and we are getting one of the puppies. I know it’s not the best timing, but CC and I have always talked about getting a dog. I’m already in love with our puppy, Bailey, and I can’t wait!!

photo 3Everybody say hello to Bailey 😀 

With just 4 days left in Norway, I’m finally starting to relax, and I can finally enjoy the last few days with my family and friends, before CC and I fly to Beijing. As we only decided on going to Beijing in mid-November we didn’t have as much time to prepare and plan as we’d hoped for, but once we have found an apartment, and settled down, I will share lots of stories with all of you guys from our new life in Beijing! I can’t wait 😀

Anyone else who also feel super stressed before moving? Please share your experience on moving to a new town or country ~

For more updates on our new adventure follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

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Home is where the heart is – 我是哪里人?

This is a question that I have been asked many many times, as I went to an International High School in Beijing. It is funny, the more times I get asked this question, the more I start to wonder. Obviously, I am from Norway. My mum and dad are both Norwegian, at least, as far as I know 😛
This post is not going to make any sense, as it does not make any sense when I ask myself this question. So as you all know, I’m from Norway, but I lived in Beijing for 5 years, during those 5 years I considered Beijing home. Whenever my family and I went to Norway during those 5 years, I would say “We are going To Norway for summer vacation” and when we were going back to Beijing I would say “We are going back home.”  Now, wouldn’t it make more sense if I said “We are going home – home to Norway?” Well, not for me. Ever since I moved to China I’ve been in love with the country, the culture, the traditions, and the food. Do I not love the same things about Norway? I’m sure I do, but not in the same way. Maybe it is because I moved to China when I was a teenager, maybe it is because I never paid much attention to the Norwegian culture, maybe it’s because I was a typical teenage girl, and I couldn’t care less about those things at that time? I don’t know, I don’t think there is an answer to why I call China home. The only answer I can think of is “home is where the heart is.” And I guess, this is the answer that is most accurate when I think about where “I’m from.”  I have thought about it many times, it may be because my family is living in Dubai, and CC is living in Scotland, maybe I just don’t “feel” home yet? I guess, after living abroad like I did, especially during your teenage years, it is hard to say where “home” is. Because you get so attached to a place, and it is hard to let go, especially when you have more friends in the country you lived in, rather than your home country.

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Have you ever been in the same situation before? What do you consider home?

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中国 here we come!

It’s been a long time since last time I wrote something here. I’m not going to make up excuses for why I haven’t been writing anything, but lets just say that I’ve had a lot of other things to think about, and I just didn’t prioritize the blog. And yes, I do feel very bad, but I have just not sat down, and planned a blog post. Well, as you all know, this blog is mainly about China, my experiences in China, AMWF relationship and my relationship with CC.
This is not going to be a long post, but I thought it would be fair to update you guys on what’s going on!
For the past months, CC and I have been trying to figure out what to do; Should he work in Europe? Should he go back to China to work? Should I stay in Norway and continue working? Should I go to China with him?.. You know, the typical LDR questions.. It’s been a long process, with tears, frustration and joy. I’ve had long conversations with my parents, CC has been having long conversations with he’s parents and we finally figured out to do, at least to begin with and then we will take it from there, but all I know is that we can figure this out~
Well, not so long ago, I applied for a visa to China, and the last 2 weeks have been absolutely nerve wrecking, but I FINALLY received my passport yesterday, and it included a visa 😀  I haven’t been this happy in a long long time. I don’t want to say too much, because we don’t have everything settled yet, but we will be going to China in January, and CC will be working in Beijing. So from now on, I will finally have something to write about! 😀

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儿子

So remember when I said that I had another blog post ready for you guys?
Well, here it is! A little later than I planned, because there is no WIFI in ChenChen’s new apartment, but now that I am back in Norway I can finally post it..

So, I was in Scotland visiting my man for 3 weeks, which was obviously amazing. At the time that I was there he’s parents wanted to skype with us a lot, so they could see us together, and talk to me – they don’t video chat with me when I’m in Norway, because I we wouldn’t be able to communicate as my Chinese is not that good and they don’t speak English. As there is a time difference between UK and China, we would normally skype them in the morning, their evening, and of course that is really nice, it’s good talking to them, and seeing CC happy when I talk to them in Chinese. There is one thing that I always notice when we skype them though, and don’t get me wrong they are very sweet, and I love talking to them when I’m with CC. For those of you who are dating Chinese guys, even Asian guys maybe, you will know what I talk about when I say “Son, be careful” or “Son, are you eating enough, are you eating healthy?”
Sound a lot like a Chinese mum right? haha. And yes, that is very cute, it’s sweet that they care so much about their kids, even though they are not exactly kids anymore.

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I haven’t really noticed it before, how often she says “Son” before every question and how everytime she says “Son” the sentence continue with a question about him eating enough, or him wearing enough clothes outside. To me, it’s not a big problem, it is not bothering me either, but it made me think about the relationship between Chinese parents and their kids, especially their son(s), as they are the ones that are supposed to “support the family” after he get a job.

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I’ve always known that they really care about what he is doing, how he is doing certain things and they always want an update. I don’t think CC has even thought about it before, the fact that they always watch out for him like he is 5 years old. It just really hit me while we were skyping them while I was there, and then I started thinking about my relationship with my parents – yes of course I skype my parents, and they ask me about different things like they should as parents. But they don’t ask me if I wear enough clothes, or if I have remembered to drink enough hot water during the day.

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I am not trying to make any sort of statement with this blog post, and I have to admit that I have been kind of affected by them and I do realize that I sometimes ask CC to wear enough clothes if it is cold outside, and I do ask him if he has eaten dinner etc. Maybe I am becoming like one of the Chinese mums? haha. In my defense, I just care about him – and I guess that’s the same excuse he’s mum would use if I ask her about why she always say “Son…..”

Once again, I respect his parents, and their traditions, and just like them I want what’s best for my man, ChenChen 🙂

As CC is an only child – I wonder, would they be asking their daughter the same thing as they always ask CC? And, will they continue this after CC and I get married?! haha. I mean of course they can, but I can also take care of him, and he can definitely take care of himself! haha

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2014年5月30日 ~ The Proposal ~ 求婚

The last post showed you guys what I’ve been up to lately 😛 Well, the most exciting thing thats happened for the past months at least, and I promised to write more about it when I came back from Scotland, and I promised Lina to write it today – So here you go! haha.
I’m going to make it short, but it is actually a funny story, so I’ll make sure to write about it all. As all of you know, I’m in a LDR, ChenChen is living in Scotland and I’m living in Norway. And I was reallllly excited because I was going to visit him for 5 days. And I just have to say, that I am normally the kind of person who wants to know whats going on, and I always plan things to be sure that I know when, and where I will go out.. as you can tell – I’m a control freak! 😛
Anyways, so it all started Wednesday evening as I was about to board my plane to Edinburgh, I got a text from ChenChen saying “Btw, we are going to my friend’s birthday party, so tomorrow we have to go shopping to buy you some nice clothes, and I need to buy a suit” of course I just answered “Okay, sure.. But I don’t wanna drink any alcohol” haha. Well, on the Thursday we spent the whole day shopping, with no success, I was just in suuuuch a bad mood, and I was really not excited about going to a birthday party. Thankfully I found something that looked OK, but he could not find a suit that he liked. To be honest, I didn’t even understand why on earth he needed to wear a suit?! And I was telling him “you know, it’s only going to be Chinese people there, non of them are going to be wearing suits! You know that, they wear jeans even to weddings..! Let’s not be overdressed!” And he was just saying that the party would be in a private KTV room at a Casino, so we had to wear nice clothes.. At 5 pm on Friday, he finally found something to wear, 2 hours before we were supposed to be there.

You guys can imagine me being all frustrated, pissed off and stressed, so I quickly put on some nailpolish, tried to do my makeup and straighten my hair, but I was still a little frustrated because I was not excited about going to the party as I wanted to spend quality time with ChenChen, and not waste a day being hungover! haha.. Anyhow, we got all dolled up and ready to go, but then I was like – “but first let me take a selfie..” Obviously ChenChen was all excited about that and here’s the result..
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Anyways, we arrived at the Casino and as I didn’t know many of them, I had to be all nice and sweet to them, the only person I knew was the birthday boy so I walked up to him and said “生日快乐” (Happy birthday) and they were all like “woaaaa, 你说中文!” (You speak Chinese) haha >.< Anyways, so as we were in a private room, we could sing as many weird songs as we wanted to, and all of a sudden I said “Let’s sing the birthday song for Leo (birthday boy)” and so we did, after the song finished Leo disappeared and I was told he was going to pick up some people outside the casino, so we just continued the birthday party, having fun playing games, drinking and singing. I quickly made friends with the girls that were there and we were singing songs together, and for the people who’s not been to KTV’s before and doesn’t know what its like; you pretty much pick many songs, and they get added to a playlist, and then you just pass the microphone to the person who picked the song that’s next on the list. While I was singing a Lady GaGa song with one of the girls, I noticed that the next song was “Forever Love” by 王力宏,and I got all excited because I love that song, and it turned out that it was ChenChen who had picked that song and he asked if I wanted to sing it with him, because he knows that I like that song, so eventually I said yes, but I have to say, I didn’t sing much.. I all of sudden got really shy, and felt that my Chinese skills were all gone.. So I was just standing there, enjoying the song, and suddenly the birthday boy walked in with flowers and gave them to ChenChen, and I was thinking to myself “ooookay? he must be really thankful because ChenChen helped him organize the party.” My man continued singing, and suddenly he went down on one knee and I’m pretty sure you guys know the words that came out of his mouth; “Oda will you marry me?” You guys can imagine my reaction, I was speechless, and just burst out in tears, I couldn’t stop crying, finally I managed to say something that was a mix of “yes, omg, yeah” Haha..  After a while of crying ChenChen told me that there was no birthday party, this was all for me, and they had been planning this since the day I booked the tickets to go Scotland. And of course, I started crying again, I really had no idea that it was not a birthday party, I was overwhelmed, surprised, and super happy.

 

Btw, I was wearing really high heels, so I was waaaay taller than ChenChen..

After the proposal I could tell that ChenChen was way more relaxed and really happy, it was a really good atmosphere in the room, and we were all singing songs, dancing, taking photos and drinking. Then one of the people working at the casino came with a cake, and 2 cocktails, one for me and one for ChenChen, the cocktails was made especially for us as we had gotten engaged, and the cake was from ChenChen’s friends. It was really sweet. I’m normally not the kind of person who enjoy a lot of attention, but for once I loved it. The rest of the night is just history.. we continued singing and drinking until the morning, and the next day I woke up with a mix of pure happiness and a real bad hangover. It was definitely a night I will never forget.

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This was a really.. cheesy blog post, but that’s how the proposal happened! haha. 
Anyone else who’s been proposed to? Or have been on / planned a surprise party for someone?

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梦中的额吉 ~ Mother in the dream

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As some of you remember, I’ve been posting videos of Chinese TV shows, funny Chinese videos, or really just anything that’s Chinese. And today I was trying to find a video for the blog. I came across many funny and cute ones, but one video really stood out. I will show you guys why.. But first let me tell you guys a little about why I thought this video was so special. We have all seen many videos like this on youtube before, these are the kind of videos that end up going viral. The moment I opened this video, I thought of 晨晨, but I didn’t really realize why, until the boy introduced himself and said that he was from Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, after hearing him say “Hulunbuir” I realized it was the traditional costume he was wearing that made me think of  晨晨  – I have seen photos of 晨晨 wearing the same kind of traditional costume before. When the boy named 乌达木 (Wudamu) started talking about the grasslands in Hulunbuir, it really made me miss China, and especially Inner Mongolia. Hulunbuir is where 晨晨 is from, and my favorite part of his hometown is actually the grasslands, it is so peaceful and beautiful there. Once Wudamu said what song he was going to sing, I started tearing up. I know this song very well, it is one of  晨晨’s favorite songs, and he play this song a lot, so I’m really familiar with it..
There is not much more to say about this, you just have to watch the video by yourself, this boy is amazing, and yes it made me cry like a baby, so when I called 晨晨 on Skype after watching it he asked me why my eyes were so red and he thought I had been chopping onion..-.- So I sent him the video and I could tell he was pretty touched by this video, and all he said was “I miss my hometown so much now”.. 

这是一个我最近看到的最伤心的故事…这个男孩来自呼伦贝尔草原。那儿也是我老公的故乡,也是我在中国最喜欢的地方之一。那儿非常祥和,美丽。下次我去呼伦贝尔,一定会想到这个小男孩还有他的歌。这首《梦中的额吉》,我老公也很喜欢,我之前就已经听过了,所以现在听这个小男孩唱时,有种特别的心情

 

Here’s a photo of the grasslands, from last summer~

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Jemma + Kai = 2 pooches and happiness

The other day I asked my friend Jemma, if she wanted to do a guest post on my blog. She’s been in a relationship with a Chinese guy who grew up in the UK, for 7 years, so of course I asked her to write about her relationship,(I think they are so cute together, thats why I asked 😀 Made me feel like a stalker! haha.)  I already know quite a bit about her relationship, but what I really wanted to know more about was if there are as many cultural differences in her relationship as there is in mine. So here you are – This is Jemma’s experience of dating a Chinese guy ~ 

Growing up I was always fascinated with chinese culture from when my dad first started watching Bruce Lee movies with me and I just so happen to now be in a relationship with a chinese guy who was born in Hong Kong but moved to the UK when he was 3/4.

I have to be honest and say that when we first got together I was infatuated with the idea that he is chinese and I am white, however 7 years later it really doesn’t come into it and we argue just like any other race couple do. I personally think a relationship based only on the race of your partner is unrealistic and most probably won’t last.

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With my partner being pretty much raised in the UK there are times where I feel like I appreciate some parts of chinese culture more than he does. For example, respecting his parents. He can be quite rude and dismissive to them when I know they just want whats best for him (although they really couldn’t care less about our relationship!). He seems to have a lot of resentment towards them because they pressured him from a young age to translate things for them and cope with things he really shouldnt of had to at a young age.

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I do think our relationship is…easier?..Because he understands British culture and yet still loves his Chinese culture. Although he speaks Cantonese fluently, he can get embarrassed if there is something he can’t explain or translate to me however his Chinese side definitely comes out when food is brought into the picture. This guy will eat everything and anything and we do cook some chinese dishes together!. Although there are a lot of things he totally disagrees with in his Chinese culture, he is very proud to be Chinese.

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I can’t say there are really any major challenges we have faced together due to the fact we both speak the same language and he understands British culture. I would only say the main issue is me not having a connection with his family which initially was off-putting for me as I always wanted to be close to my in-laws. I do find that chinese girls can get hostile to me at times and white guys to him but we think nothing of it and love the fact that we are mixing our cultures and our ethnicities. I’ve recently thought about going to chinese school but there are none near me 😦  The only reason I would want to do that is for when we have children. Although I understand and can speak some Cantonese, I wouldn’t consider myself fluent at all.

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After 7 years, we live together with our 2 pooches (They are soooo cute 😀 – Oda.. ) , we have had really bad times but are still together. We are planning to finish traveling to a few more places before caving to the pressure of marriage and kids. Once that’s out of or system, we will look to move house and if children come along, our baby girl would be named Ava Mei and a boy named Josh, (unsure of the decided chinese names). Unfortunately we don’t have the money to do it all at once!

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