Sunday, May 27, 2012

Guest Blog #1: Chris Goes House Hunting…and Makes Movies

After our Yan Lord debacle, we have come to the realization that we need an China...stat. Fortunately Chris returned to Shanghai, and recorded all of the apartments he visited with his tablet so I would not be left out of the house hunting process.  Here is a peek at some of our new contenders!

Apartment #1: Central Park

Apartment #2:  Qing An Four Seasons

Apartment #3: Le Marquis

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seeking My Chinese Alter Ego

So another Monday Morning email from Bosch China’s HR department took me off guard…again.

Chris and I were wondering what paperwork we needed for us to get work visas.  Sally (Xu Chen), our Bosch HR contact, responded with the following list.

Why do these emails always arrive on Monday Morning?

I was taken back by item #6, your favorite Chinese name.  I had to research this phenomenon to see if it was legit.  After reading this article on, I decided needed to take control of the situation and select my Chinese alias.  If I let my Chinese co-workers select my name, it would more than likely end up being  “Crazy Woman with Dogs” or “American Wi-Fi Seeker”.

So in an attempt to keep the naming process real, I asked my Media Specialist for her input.  She responded,

         “What about morning?  You always sign your emails A-M.”

I thought about this…it made sense.  I dashed to my computer, opened Google Translate and typed morning. 

I got “as result.  (Pronounced ZǎoChris liked it.  His exact words were “That’s very pretty.” I could actually pronounce and write it.  It seemed like a winner. To make sure all would be great with , I decided to ask my authority on all things Chinese, Jie  (my Chinese tutor), about a name during our Tuesday lesson.

Jie teaches me how to negotiate by showing me the hand signal for seven.
“If you would like a Chinese name, I can give you Chinese name. That would be very good! Let me think about it tonight and I will give you some names tomorrow!” she exclaimed.

At the end of my Wednesday lesson, Jie pulled out her list of names she thought were pretty. 

Jie’s Names for Anne-Marie
Ānmì ()- Ānmì means peaceful or tranquil.  Anyone who knows me that I am not either one of these. Hence, is a no go.

Yè zǐ (叶紫)- Yè zǐ means Leaf.  Yeah…I don’t think so.

Bìyù (碧玉)-  Bìyù is Chinese for Jasper.  Insert your own joke here. NO NO NO!

Diāochán (貂蝉) – Apparently Diāochán has a history.  I need to make my own story in China.  I also don’t want to be named after someone who is ancient.

Bái xuě (白雪) - Bái xuě means snow.  Snow White was by far the most irritating Disney Princess, so her name is out.

When I asked her about the name Morning, she looked at me like I had 10 heads and asked,
“You want to be called  Zǎo?  That’s not a pretty name.” 
She proceeded to burst into laughter for about 5 minutes.   She then told me that people would remember the name Zǎo.  I immediately knew I had to trust Jie and go for one of the names on her list.

She had one more name for me.

Mòlì (茉莉) Mòlì  the Chinese name  for Jasmine. The characters are a little difficult to write, but I liked it.  I think we have a winner!!

Ní háo! Wò jiāo Mòlì!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Garage Sale Extravaganza

So the first Wilcox family garage sale is officially in the books.  We had two goals for this sale, get rid of stuff and make a little cash. 

This was our original Craig's List Posting.

The sale was supposed to start at 8 am.  Despite the fact that Chris threatened to feed early arrivers to attack Dachshunds, people started to arrive around 6:45.  It is a very good thing we decided to roll out of bed at 5:30 or else we could have had issues.

While we were thrilled to sell our stuff, the race to get everything out was a tad stressful.

After almost 11 years of marriage, I am ashamed to admit that I had no clue that my husband knows how to push merchandise!  His $1 tool bin idea was amazing! 

People were loving the $1 tool bin!

We got to visit with many interesting people.  Our next-door neighbors, Nathan and Nolin hung out in their new beach chairs for a while.

Nolin did a GREAT job of brining people in.  

Around noon, there was a lull in business so Chris decided to take a snooze.  Retail was so exhausting.

Sleeping on the job!

His nap did not last very long.  Two of the more amusing customers of the day, Chatty Cathy and Chatty Charlie, decided to visit our sale.

Chatty Cathy talks about how she is half blind.

I learned too much about Chatty Cathy during the 30 minutes we visited.  She would not stop talking, and the conversation was bizzare.  Some of her direct quotes were:

“My Chihuahua farts so loud it shakes the walls of our double wide.”
“I have put many things on Craig’s list, but every time I do they get stolen.”
“What is bad about my dog is he eats my hair.  Every time he walks around, he has dingle berries dangling.”

We could not cut her off, she was a paying customer. She bought a $.05 plastic cup she claimed she could enhance with fingernail polish.

She then engaged Chris in a conversation about firearms. 

Just when I thought things could not get any stranger, they did.  The “Only True Conservative” house candidate, Jordan Bryngleson, decided to make a campaign stop at the sale. 
Jordan Bryngleson on the Campaign Trail

While it was swell of him to stop by and share his views, it would have been nice if he would have purchased something.  It was a good thing that Bryngleson is an ultra conservative.  If he was liberal, Chatty Cathy may have pulled out one of her concealed weapons.  (Did I mention Chatty Cathy claimed to pack heat?)

At the end of the day, we dropped off 4 bags of leftover clothes to Goodwill and posted some unsold goodies on Crag’s list. Fortunately we made some cash that will be used to furnish our Shanghai home.

If you are interested in any of the following Craig’s list items, or some GREAT beach reading let me know. J