Friday, August 28, 2009

Coming to America

Qian and I completed our day long journey or so from Xi'an to Kansas City yesterday. After a very deep and hard night of sleep, we're now sitting around, hanging out in the good ol' US of A!

The trip was, uh, long. Xian -> Beijing -> San Francisco -> Salt Lake City -> Kansas City. Including stops in airports, the trip came out to almost exactly twenty four hours.

Considering how difficult getting the visa for Qian was, I was a little bit concerned that, upon our arrival in San Francisco, the visa people there would give us trouble with getting Qian into the country. Thankfully, the Customs and Immigration officials at the San Francisco airport were all very polite and friendly though. The customs declaration guy even waved us through and congratulated us on our upcoming marriage instead of going through our bags. Very cool!

So, so far, the run ins with officials we've had have been infinitely better than the ones we had in in China in Guangzhou.

We're getting married over Labor Day weekend here in KC. So for the next several days, it's going to be full on marriage mode. Should be pretty intense. Very exciting too though.

I'm really looking forward to the coming days when Qian will meet my family and friends.


Unknown said...

Congrats on you upcoming marriage! I read your blog here in San Francisco. Thank God for Bloglines RSS Reader.

Unknown said...

I'm glad the journeywas hitch-free Mark. Good luck with the wedding. Regards to Jackie!


Mark said...

Thanks a lot, guys! So far, so good. The family and everything is going OK. There'll be lots of interesting things to do in the next couple days. Should be fun!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back man, and welcome to America Qian. I'm hoping she hijacks your blog and it becomes Qian's America Blog.

Mark said...

It's funny you mention that, Hopfrog. Qian is probably going to start her own blog here soon. It would be about life in America for her family and friends back home.

I've encouraged her to do it since I, obviously, think blogging is pretty cool.

Particularly, I like it when trying to communicate with a large group of people. It sure beats mass emails. Whereas mass emails are actively trying to grab people's attention, blogs are passive and can be looked at whenever someone wants. I think that's an important distinction.

Mark's China Blog began as a blog about my life in China. Slowly it turned into the news blog it is now. But when it first began, it wasn't at all.

If or when Qian does begin a blog, I'll post it one here. It'll be in all Chinese, but it'd still be fun for non-Chinese readers to check out.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, first time I've seen your original website. You said something there about ESPN the station and their website that I have also been thinking for a long time now, that they detoriate more each year. I use now. All those cliche's and wordplay they use on ESPN used to seem very clever, now it just seems forced and annoying.

I think a lot of blogs start out as a way to keep in touch. I read a lot of blogs, just something I find interesting, and I notice a few things seem to happen (in order of frequency)

1. They just die out. Most bloggers give it a few months and then poof... they just stop posting.

2. Some just focus on the person's daily life. What they ate today, what they watched on TV.. etc. The one's that are too personal I tend to avoid. If it seems like it is setup solely for family and friends, I don't like to stick my nose in.

3. The soapbox. A blog setup where the person basically has a new rant everyday. These can be interesting, but for the most part they get tiresome.

4. A good mix. I'd put all the best blogs, including yours in this category. Sometimes they start out as a way to stay in touch but end up morphing into something more. A good range of topics and a glimpse into the person's life seems to make for the best blogs.

Well again, welcome back man. Looking forward to not only QIan's transition to the states but also your views on how the country has changed since you left. How is Qian's english? Will the transition be smooth for her?

Mark said...

To be honest with you, Hopfrog, I'm a bit embarrassed by my first blog. I guess it's just not being super comfortable reading my old writing. But it is indeed a ton different than what I'm doing now.

After Xanga was blocked, I created a blog on's Quick Blog format. I paid a couple bucks a month for it. It was OK. Not nearly as good as Word Press or anything, but, unfortunately, I wasn't in-the-know at that time about good free blog publishers.

After Godaddy/Quickblog blogs were blocked in China right before the Olympics, I stopped paying for Quickblog and lost my second blog - - forever. This sucks because there were tons of great pictures on there and it also was a nice intermediary between what I was doing on Xanga and what the current Blogspot blog has become. Oh well.

I'm looking forward for the opportunity to get into blogging more again. Right now, it just isn't happening. In a month or two though, I think things could "get back to normal around here" and I could do more article link ups and such.

Unless I get paid to blog (let me dream a little bit), I'm not sure my blog will ever be what it was in January through April of this year.

During that time, I could blog at my job and I also wasn't living with Qian and, thus, had more time to trawl for China articles and write (often ridiculously) long thoughts on that news.

Even if I can't post as frequently or as thoroughly as I did earlier this year, things will pick up here once we get married, have a honeymoon, and get more settled.

Until then, bear with me as the site will probably stay pretty quiet.

Unknown said...

Mark and Qian,
ChinaTown Supermarket in City Market is a good place to buy Chinese food. The 888market in Overland Park is pretty good, too.
Free English lessons are offered throughout the Metro area.
Congratulations again !