The middle of the year, captured in facebook statuses:
Maria Holland My parents are in route to China RIGHT NOW. Are they ready for China, and is China ready for them??
January 12 at 10:45pm
Maria Holland Parents, meet China. China, parents. (I hope they get along!!!) Yes, this means my parents have arrived in Xiamen safely!
January 13 at 11:12pm
Maria Holland had an amazing few days in Xiamen with my parents. It was almost too perfect, and now I’m hoping that the rest of China can live up to it! Next stop is Guangzhou, then we’re riding the world’s fastest train to Wuhan.
January 17 at 9:46pm
Maria Holland had the best day since leaving Xiamen today – looking at pandas all morning, and finding an amazing donut shop after lunch!
January 23 at 3:19pm
Maria Holland has mixed feelings about the first two days in Beijing. Peking roast duck, Forbidden City, Mass, and sanlunche ride home were amazing; the lack of readable maps, decent hotels, and Matteo Ricci’s tomb is really frustrating me. Oh, and I finally found a Chinese breviary, as well as a Chinese-English Catholic Encyclopedia!!!!!!
January 31 at 6:00pm
Maria Holland climbed the Great Wall today – and then slid down on my butt. Pretty much the best way to experience ChangCheng (and probably the fastest). Also, I think approximately 1/4 of all Chinese people have a picture of me now.
February 1 at 9:05pm
Maria Holland Um . . . . well, the good news is that I have a train ticket home from Beijing to Xiamen. The bad news is that they were out of sleepers so I have a seat. Oh, and it turns out it’s a 31 HOUR TRIP
February 2 at 8:35pm
Maria Holland got in a fight with China today and lost. We’re currently not speaking, at least not if I can help it. I plan to drug myself heavily before my 31-hour train trip tomorrow. I can’t wait to get back to Xiamen with it’s 70+ degree weather and beaches and Coco milk tea!
February 4 at 9:03pm
Maria Holland has had the 3 worst days in China. Hopefully today will be better – a working toilet, a massage, and my first real meal in 2 days would go a long way in this direction.
February 7 at 8:34am
Maria Holland got my toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world and a good book in my hand. It’s 75 and sunny in Xiamen, and I happen to live 3 minutes from a beach. Score!
February 10 at 11:12am
Maria Holland still hasn’t figured out how to say Lent in Chinese . . . but I know how to say Easter!
February 17 at 9:33pm
Maria Holland seriously, Chinese Mulan – no happy ending? I put up with the random foreigner, the sandstorm that came out of nowhere, the lack of memorable songs, and your insistence on speaking Chinese the whole time . . . but how can you end it with the lovers parting ways? This is crap. Good thing the fruit here is good, or I would leave this country.
February 20 at 10:53pm
Maria Holland just figured out that the 天上母后 can be sung to the same tune as the Regina Caeli with only slight squishing of syllables. Is it Easter yet???
February 26 at 12:48am
Maria Holland spent the night in a Chinese hospital . . . don’t worry about me, I was just keeping Lester company, but the poor guy has pancreatitis so please pray for him!
February 28 at 9:58am
Maria Holland 刚刚开学 . . . Classes started today, which means vacation is over. I try not to let school interfere with my education, though, so I’m still really looking forward to the semester!
March 1 at 1:58pm
Maria Holland FOUND CATAN 中文版 (CHINESE EDITION) IN XIAMEN FOR THIRTEEN DOLLARS. Life = complete.
March 4 at 7:06pm
Maria Holland might miss books more than bread, guacamole, ice cream, and tortillas combined. Why do Chinese libraries hate me?
March 10 at 11:50pm
Maria Holland is wondering if you know how to say ‘doorknob’ in another language – without looking it up! Please respond, I’m doing a small survey.
March 12 at 11:58pm
Maria Holland is translating the legend of Paul Bunyan into Chinese. Thus far, I have learned: giant (巨人), lumberjack (伐木人), Grand Canyon (大峡谷), axe (斧), buttons (纽扣), and footprints (足迹). Good thing I already knew how to say Mississippi River!
March 17 at 4:39pm
Maria Holland won’t be takin’ no calls cuz I’ll be dancin’
March 19 at 10:58am
Maria Holland in previewing tomorrow’s Chinese lesson, I came across this sentence: 美国人是非常小气的 (Americans are extremely stingy). Awesome . . .
March 21 at 11:43pm
Maria Holland was really amused to read this comment from an overseas Chinese on an article about the ongoing Google-China battle: "All Chinese, I urge you to boycott Google, and join my facebook "Chinese boycott Google" group." Um . . . great idea, except your government blocked facebook a few years ago for also refusing to self-censor. Irony FAIL.
March 23 at 11:42pm
Maria Holland is pretty sure she has the best parents ever. The package from home included Girl Scout cookies, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, Cadbury eggs, Hershey’s kisses, lemonade powder, Jello mix, and another bag of marshmallows!!!! Dear Easter: I am eagerly awaiting your arrival :)
March 25 at 1:45pm
Maria Holland baked 7 cakes and a batch of cookies today. Isn’t a full kitchen a wonderful thing? Now if only it were mine . . .
March 26 at 8:51pm
Maria Holland will be celebrating my birthday for a total of 42 hours, from birthday vigil on Chinese time to the end of the day in the Central US. It’s going great so far!
March 28 at 3:18am
Maria Holland My birthday presents included flowers, Belgian chocolate, Kazah and Swedish money, a book titled "Anonymous Rex/Casual Rex", a Slovenian PowerPoint presentation prominently featuring 茄子 (eggplant), a bunch of Dutch music including Bisje Komt Zo (which is apparently about drugs, not buses), and a traditional Chinese bra. Best birthday ever? Possibly.
March 29 at 9:46pm
Maria Holland Ate too many jelly beans and am on a crazy sugar high . . . considering playing the Regina Caeli on loop and singing at the top of my voice while eating chocolate bunnies. That should do the trick . . .
April 4 at 12:13am
Maria Holland Are you wearing pants? Correct answer is No! Are you saying Alleluia? Correct answer is Yes!
April 4 at 11:43pm
Maria Holland had the best Monday today – at least since coming to China, but possibly ever. Tomorrow I leave for an impromptu trip to Guangzhou and a weekend in Hong Kong! Going to class is for squares . . .
April 5 at 10:12pm
Maria Holland is in Guangzhou with friends from OKLAHOMA and their new Chinese son. My hotel room has a shower door and a bed with non-negligible padding – basically the lap of luxury. AND it’s still Easter! Basically, life is good.
April 6 at 11:10pm
Maria Holland must have gotten on the wrong train and ended up in Mumbai, as I’m staying the night in an Indian-run slum. But it’s okay: there’s free internet in Hong Kong (I’m on facebook without a proxy!), there’s a TGIF Friday’s around the corner, and it JUST HAPPENS to be Friday.
April 9 at 5:30pm
Maria Holland had a perfect day in Hong Kong today. I see a TU friend tomorrow (!) and then it’s back home to Xiamen :)
April 10 at 11:52pm
Maria Holland is anyone interested in going to see Mika in concert in Hong Kong on June 16th??
April 13 at 10:29pm
Maria Holland may have figured out how to say "soup Nazi" (and any other words with structure "XX Nazi") in Chinese. So yes, in answer to your question, studying for the HSK is going swimmingly.
April 16 at 1:29am
Maria Holland has a ticket to Changchun, Jilin for May 20th!! Can’t wait to return to the land of my "Chinese childhood"!
April 16 at 3:25pm
Maria Holland is 考试-ing her 汉语水平. It’s HSK time!
April 17 at 11:28pm
Maria Holland countdown in China is at 3 months !?!
April 19 at 11:56pm
Maria Holland F.M.L. Another weekend in China, another adventure – but adventures involving hospitals are significantly less fun than adventures that don’t.
April 22 at 10:21pm
Maria Holland is going to be singing the Misa de Angelis at the installation of the new bishop of the Diocese of Xiamen in two weeks! I guess this kind of makes up for the gynecologist appointment yesterday . . . I forgive you, China.
April 24 at 8:20pm
Maria Holland has been in China for 8 months now. Depending on your age, this may or may not seem like an incredibly long period of time to you. I’m 22, and it’s pretty much ginormous.
April 26 at 11:06pm
Maria Holland is in love with Sheldon Cooper. Also, mangos.
April 30 at 10:37pm
Maria Holland thinks that Chinese national holidays are about as much fun as bamboo shoots shoved into various body parts. Nevertheless, I had a really good day. I even managed to be part of a winning team based on the other side of the world!
May 1 at 11:02pm
Maria Holland had an amazing three day weekend but is infinitely more tired than when classes ended on Friday.
May 4 at 1:01am
Maria Holland is in the EXACT SAME COUNTRY as The Dear Leader RIGHT NOW. How could I be so lucky!?!
May 4 at 9:15pm
Maria Holland A year ago, I knew less than 100 Chinese characters. Tonight, I have the Chinese version of "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" stuck in my head.
May 7 at 1:34am
Maria Holland The school year at TU is now over and I am officially . . . still a senior. It’s what I do best.
May 7 at 9:57pm
Maria Holland can’t even say how overjoyed I was to have the opportunity to sing in the choir at the installation of Xiamen’s very first local bishop, Cai Binrui (and how pleased I was to hear that he has a papal mandate as well!)
May 8 at 2:52pm
Maria Holland is fabulous. Tomorrow, please be 跟 today 一样 wonderful, 谢谢. I’m singing at Bishop Cai’s first Mass in the morning, but then how to follow that up??
May 9 at 1:27am