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Beijinggirl, when my fiancee visited, last July, she learned that she had nothing to fear.|
I took her on a trip though eastern Washington, down into eastern Oregon and along the famous, beautiful Columbia River Gorge, and we camped out each night.
I felt I was taking a big chance doing this, because people in China just don't do this. They don't camp, and I doubt if any know what it is, but it a very big part of life for many Americans. I was very worried that she would be terrified and panic from fear of the unfamiliar.
For the first two days, I was the one who was very nervous because of my worry about how she felt. Then, I saw that she was completely relaxed, always happy and smiling, and looking at everything.
She immediately knew what to do to help with the camping. We would stop in the evening to prepare to sleep. We were in areas clear away from people. She had never seen so land, as far as the eyes could see in all directions, without people! And the land was so very beautiful and clean with clear skys.
At night, we could see millions of bright stars in the sky. Animals made their night sounds. My fiancee and I would go for walks with only the light of the moon, and she was so relaxed, happy, and without fear. She was so full of joyfulness, like never before in her life.
Wherever we went, she was so surprised how very relaxed, generous, and friendly the people were to her.
She especially liked the town of Hood River, Oregon. It is so very clean and beautiful. She saw American family life for herself and how close the families are. She saw how Americans can work hard and then play hard. She saw things that just don't exist in Asia, such as white water kayaking, sailboarding, mountain biking, and other outdoor sports. She saw how Americans can really relax and be happy, when they aren't working.
She loves to eat pizza. Also, her favorite restaurant, near my home, is called the "Olive Garden," a nice Italian restaurant. She loves Italian food.
We also had eaten at two different Chinese restaurants and one Mexican restaurant.
She loved shopping in America. Her main problem was finding American made gifts to take to her family and friends. Nearly everything was made in China, hehehehe!!!
She and I love books and learning, so I took her to my favorite bookstore, Barnes & Noble. It is VERY large and has a Starbuck's Espresso shop in it. She ended up buying a lot of books as gifts.
Now, when we talk, and I tell her where I went to buy groceries or books, she knows exactly where I have been.
The only problems she and I have are not at all because of cultural differences, but because of problems she has had with her family, friends, and job. She is a school teacher and hates it, because she sees the many faults with the Asian educational systems, the cram schools, and the horrible lack of creativity.
She wants to continue with graduate education, in America, and become a researcher in a science field. She is so very, very intelligent and loves learning. Also, she is very strong and athletic. Perhaps, she is marrying me for the many hundreds of books I have, hehehe!
She reads very academic scientific books in English, and completely understqnds them, which was a very pleasant surprise for me. I very much encourage her in the things she wants to do. My greatest happiness is to see her happy.
When she was at the university, bother her mother and little brother died, and she still is so very sad and cries from missing them. I want to help take away that pain and fill her heart with happiness.
I will give you her e-mail address by private message, and I'm sure she will be happy to talk with you and answer any of your questions. And, yes, Mandarin is her native Chinese dialect. :-)