Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fenghuang—- a wondeful place to travel in China

Before I came to U.S, I travelled to some other places in China. Fenghuang, a well-known place in Hunan province.

You could see there are so many houses beside the river in the picture, and that the most beautiful time of this place one day. At this moment, many locals, tourists and even lovers come here and hang out, they may see the appealing scenery, bathe in the gentle wind, and hear the local ballad. That’s really a fairyland in the world.

At the same time, you could choose to stay in a bar, drink some beer and try your best to feel the special atmosphere.

In a word, if you have chance to visit China, don’t ignore this wonderful place!

 

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The Xiabu—-my favourite hotpot restaurant

This is a famous hotpot restaurant in Beijing, and it’s my favourite restaurant.

When the 2008 Olympics was held in Beijing, I was there and walked around. Suddenly, I felt hungry and found a place to eat, of course, this is Xiabu.

I like this restaurant for three aspects. First, the waiters here were nice and friendly to customers. When I went into the restaurant, I was guided by a waiter and assigned to a place to seat. Second, the price was appropriate, I just spent 4 dollars and enjoyed different kinds of dood, like shrimp, pork, beef, eggs, mushroom, noodles and so on. Third, the atmasphere was helpful for the meals, when you stayed there, it was just natural for you to order more food.

I have been there many times, and I really hope to get another chance to go when I went back to China.

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The Chinese National Library

This is the Chinese National Library, a place full of books.

When I ended my GRE course in Beijing in 2009, I just felt lonely and didn’t know what to do. However, when I passed by this building, I felt shocked in my heart and decided to go in.

After I entered into that, I found that was really a palace, occupied by many kinds of books.

In the end, I spent totally a week to stay in this palace and enjoy the feeling of reading books! That’s amazing!

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My favourite theatre

This is the “one hundred year lecture room” in Peking University, a place full of cultural presentation.

In the summer of 2009, when I was taking GRE courses in Beijing, I always came to this place and watch different kinds of performances. For example, the world famous ballet “Swan Lake”, some piano concerts, and even some movie shows. From these excellent elegant arts, I become more and more engaged in art and enjoyable to our life.

I hope to go back and see the show one day.

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Red-roasted meat—-a special kind of Chinese food

 This dish was made by myself last night, an it has a special name——Red-roasted meat.

 It is very famous in China, which belongs to one of the well-known food in Hunan province. Most people in China love this food because the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao zhedong or Chairman Mao, deeply appreciated this dish and spent most of his lifetime enjoying it.

 I completed this dish in three main steps: First, I put the meat, which is half fat and half thin, into the boiled water for twenty mintues, thus making the meat become almost ripe. Then I sliced it into small pieces. Second, I stir the ginger pieces, garlic pieces, and Mexico hot pepper with hot oil and fried them, then I put down the meat and mixed it with the above-mentioned stuff. Third, I use a pot and cooked the meat with litte fire. After one and a half hour, a delicious red-roasted is ready to eat.

However, this kind of food is full of fat, we need to control the amount that we consume, and appropriate amount would make us feel energetic and warm.

Just have a taste of this food when you have chance to visit China.

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Eight life rules I’ve learned along the way

When I graduate in December of this year from UGA it will be exactly 10 years since I earned my undergraduate degree.  It is amazing to me how the past decade has truly flown by.  Ten years ago I never would have suspected that I would be completing my eighth year in the military, or preparing to move to my tenth city in a few months. As some of you prepare to enter the “real” world for the first time, I thought I would share some of the lessons I’ve learned through the years that have helped me to make this decade what I consider a personal success (insert eye roll here).

1.    Eliminate the word “never” from your vocabulary.

I said I would never live in the state of Georgia* when I was a kid, and I swore I would never make a career of the Coast Guard. I’m now living in Georgia for the SECOND time in 10 years, and it has taken me 8 years to accept that the Coast Guard is the right career for me. The surest way to make something happen is to declare that it will never happen.

* So as not to offend all you Georgia natives, this is really because my only experience with the state was as a little kid traveling through the state on I-75 to get to Florida; long, and BORING.

2.    You don’t always have to have a five-year plan, but make sure you set some goals for yourself.

 Some people thrive on having every aspect of their life planned out. I’m not one of those people, and never will be. Never feel like you are stuck on one path for the rest of your life. Life will present you with opportunities; take those opportunities! Decisions may lead to change, but change is always a good thing. Nothing in life is constant, so you must learn to adapt or risk being left behind. I have found that making tangible goals for myself is key to my growth as a person. Now that I have attained my goal of attending graduate school, the time has come for me to set a new goal. I’m not sure yet what that goal will be, but in the near-term I plan on running in Athens half marathon in the fall. This will give me something small to strive for while I try to come up with the next big life goal.

3.    Realize what you know… and especially what you don’t.

One of the biggest challenges many people face in their careers, especially when placed in management positions, is to recognize that you won’t always know exactly what to do in every situation. As a junior officer, I am often in charge of people with infinitely more experience in certain positions than I have. You must recognize when these people know more than you, and when they don’t. Be humble about asking for assistance, and never be afraid to admit that you need help.  The biggest challenge many have with this situation is to understand how to ask for help without compromising your position of authority.

4.    Every perceived failure is an opportunity for growth.

I enlisted in the Coast Guard not because I wanted to gain valuable work experience before going to officer candidate school, but because I applied after graduation and was not accepted. This was the first time I had ever been rejected. Rather than giving up, I decided it was more important to me to be a member of the Coast Guard than just to be an officer. Enlisting was the best decision I could have made for myself. I appreciate my commission far more now because I really had to work for it.

5.    You can’t always be the best at everything.

This is probably been the most challenging for me. At work, I’m not the best ship driver, or the fastest runner, or the most knowledgeable search and rescue controller, but I am very good at understanding people. Find the thing you’re best at, and use that to your advantage. This is not to say that you shouldn’t continue to develop your weaker areas; you should never stop trying to improve yourself. It simply means that if you know you gave your all to a project, then count that as a success.

6.    Your parents/friends/loved ones don’t always know what’s best for you.

If I had allowed my parents to make decisions for me regarding the school I would attend, the career I would pursue, the location in which I would live, or who I should date/marry, I would be an architect right now. I would be living in Lexington, and I would probably have a couple of kids.  None of these are bad things, but they just aren’t me. You must define success for yourself, and trust yourself to make the right decisions about what’s best for you. Most of my family members were emphatically against me joining the military, but if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here in Athens, Ga.  and earning a free master’s degree in mass communication.

7.    It’s okay to change jobs, but make sure the new position will help you grow in some way.

Some of you may know that the first job I had after graduation was as a quality control technician at a sausage factory. Was it awful? Absolutely. But it did lead me to my next position as a chemist at an environmental testing lab.  I also had multiple jobs in retail and the service industry, and I took each new job because it offered something more, whether it was a higher salary, added responsibility, or a better working environment.  Realize that more than likely you won’t fall into your dream job immediately after school. Work hard, make smart decisions, keep a positive attitude, and forge relationships with your coworkers. If you do these things opportunity will come knocking.

8.    Cultivate your friendships, because they can help get you through hard times in ways that your parents can’t.

I can’t stress the importance of quality friendships enough.  When you decide to make that move across the country, or take that job in New Mexico, you will not want to tell your parents that you’re homesick, or that your boss is a jerk. This is one the most important things about great friendships. You can complain to your friends about life’s little irritations, without worrying your parents.  They’re already worried enough about you, so why worry them with the little things.

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Athens Farmers Market – local and sustainable… and very cool.

The Athens Farmers Market is back in business for the season, and I recently decided to check it out for the first time a few Saturdays ago.  Being the yuppy that I am, I love a good farmer’s market; it strikes just the right balance between giving me a sense of superiority  and helping my local farmers that only comes from purchasing unwashed organic carrot bundles.

The Athens Farmers Market is a non-profit run by local artists, farmers, and musicians that strive to bring healthy, affordable, and sustainable foods to the people of Athens.  The market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Bishop Park and every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Little Kings’ Shuffle Club, and features not only local fresh produce, dairy, and other foods, but local musicians and artists.

I attended the market on both a Saturday and a Wednesday.  On Saturday there seemed to be more families and a wider age range in attendance, and there were far more booths to explore.  Wednesday’s crowd was younger and hipper, and many seemed to be there as much for the Little Kings salsa lessons as for the farmers market itself.

The vendors and volunteers both days were extremely friendly and welcoming, and far less concerned about turning a profit than having a good time and interacting with their customers.  I asked for a recommendation for a good dark roast from local Athens coffee roasters 1000 Faces and they suggested Aldo’s Blend, my new favorite coffee in the world.  With my fresh new pound of coffee and a hot cup of joe for the road, I was enamored.

If you are looking for an interesting break from your Saturday morning hangover or just in the market (so to speak) for some really delicious and fresh organic foods, go check it out.  Plan to eat lunch at one of the booths, where you can pick up wares such as freshly made empanadas and grass-fed burgers.  There is ample parking, and the atmosphere is great.

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