So Happy Together

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it’s only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together
-The Turtles

Then and now

We have been in China for two months. Over these two months, I can say our Chinese has improved--somewhat. At the very least, we have learned to listen for and respond to the following predictable questions.

1.   What country are you from? 
2.    How long have you been in China?
3.    How old are you? 
4.    Are you married? If so, how long have you been married?

Answering these questions usually elicit surprised responses. Chinese people do not seem to think people with black hair could be American (“But your hair is black, blacker than mine.”) We can respond in Chinese that we have been in China for two months (“Whoa! You just arrived! You speak Chinese so well!” Not really, but nice of them to say so). As for my age, while nodding and grinning I tell them I am 31 years old (“You look so young. I thought you were 22 years old!” I will be sad when they start guessing my age correctly).  Up until today, I answered the last question as 10 years (“So long! You must have been young when you were married? Do you have children?”)

Now we will change the last question’s response to 11 years. Often the next question is: how did you meet? In our limited Chinese, we can say we have known each other since we were young teenagers. My limited Chinese causes me to withhold the details, such as we became friends after a Chevy’s on the River run and a discussion about who is better at calculus, shared a first kiss after a day of snowboarding, married during college, and spent the next three years eating at the campus cafeteria while doing homework. We learned to love camping, hiking, and bicycling together. We developed a craving for fine wine, pungent cheese and a California’s diverse fruits and vegetables. We bought a house in a picturesque town framed by small mountains, where we grew vegetables and threw summer barbeques with dear friends. Then we gave away or sold most of our accumulated possessions and moved to China. Throughout our marriage, we have enjoyed our family’s support. We have two sets of parents that have been married 40 years plus that love us tremendously. Yes, we have had an incredible 11 years together.

We are so happy – together. Happy Anniversary to us.

Chinese Word of the Blog: 爱人 ài ren (literally love person)
                                           English translation: spouse / husband / wife / sweetheart

Circa 1997
Our first social event: Chevy's on the River 5k run

Circa 1997, 1998
The wonder years
Lake Tahoe, California
September 30, 2001
Napa, California
July 2003
Munich, Germany
Summer 2004
Point Reyes, California
December 2005
Big Island, Hawaii

September 2006
Disneyland, California
December 2007
Grand Canyon, Arizona
April 2008
Napa Valley, California
March 2009
Oahu, Hawaii
April 2010
Guangxi, China
May 2011
Yosemite Valley, California
September 30, 2012 (Literally, earlier today)
Great Leap Brewery, Beijing, China