First of all, I want to give a shout out to my husband and say, Happy 1 year anniversary! I love you ♥ I’ve recently written about our pre-wedding festivities and wedding morning awesomeness…today being our anniversary, I’ll post on the final part of our wedding – the ceremony and reception! In the US, many weddings last the entire day, with the ceremony in the morning or early afternoon, and then a break in the afternoon before the reception or banquet at night. Chinese wedding customs vary from place to place, but it’s pretty common for the ceremony to be sometime in the mid-morning, followed by a banquet-style lunch, and then it’s over. My wedding day started around 9am with a ride in a traditional bridal palanquin, which took me to the house where my husband was waiting for me. Our wedding venue was actually our newly renovated home in Henan, and the ceremony was held in the courtyard.
Two days ago, I posted Part 1 of my big, fat, Chinese wedding about the festivities which took place the night before my wedding day. On the morning of June 15, 2012 in Henan, China, I woke up at 5am to get ready for my wedding. Then I woke up my hair stylist and makeup artist, who was sleeping beside me. After several attempts to wake her, my younger sister finally got out of bed. She did an amazing job doing my hair and makeup over the next couple of hours, and then took only 15 minutes to get ready herself (and still looked gorgeous!).
I realized that I never actually wrote about my wedding day. To be honest, one of the reasons why is because I was waiting on some quality photos from that day. Now that I have them, I can finally write about my big, fat, Chinese wedding! And it’s timed perfectly with our upcoming one-year wedding anniversary Since it was quite the experience, I’m splitting this post into three parts: one for pre-ceremony festivities, one for wedding morning shenanigans, and one for the actual ceremony.
I’m a fan of many iPhone and iPad apps. Specifically, I’m a fan of free apps. Many apps nowadays are developed using the “freemium” model, which means that they’re free to download but have upgrades or extra features that you can get if you pay, or make what’s called an in-app purchase. Though there are a few apps that I’ve been willing to pay for, I had yet to make an in-app purchase…..until recently.
Weekend brunch in Beijing is a popular pastime, and there are plenty to choose from. This past Sunday, I went to Chef Too with a couple of friends to try the brunch menu for the first time. When I first walked in, I was surprised by how small the space was. There was room for maybe five or six tables inside, and a couple more outside, which explains the long wait if you come too early. Note: they don’t take reservations for Sunday brunch. My friends and I went at 1pm and waited only about 10 minutes. During our short wait, we browsed the attached pantry, where you can buy frozen salmon, sausages, filet mignon, New York strip steak, frozen fish, as well as herbs, spices, olive oil, and hot sauce. I admit I got a bit giddy when I saw the New York strip and the corn tortillas (I tend to shop at Chinese supermarkets, which have neither of those). The things you take for granted at US supermarkets…
Recently, there has been a lot of debate surrounding skeuomorphism vs. flat design. Specifically, a lot of the arguments are centered around rumors that iOS 7 will be black & white with a flat design. Previously, iPhone icons were designed in a skeuomorphic style – meaning they were designed to look and feel like real-world objects. Two examples of this are Apple’s native Notes app and the Calculator app. The Notes app looks like a notepad, and even has “ripped pages” on top to make it look more real. The buttons on the Calculator app have shadows and gradients to make it feel like you’re pressing buttons on a real calculator.
Looks like my adventures as a matchmaker are over before they even really began. I finally got the photo of the girl that my friend’s husband wanted to introduce to my friend *Ray. After sending him the photo, he asked what year she was born. Turns out she was 3 years older than him, and it was enough of an age difference to be a dealbreaker. It was an interesting experience nonetheless and got me thinking about what Chinese people initially look for in a potential significant other.
Matchmaking may seem like a out-dated concept. In some places in China, though, traditional matchmakers, or hong niang 红娘, still exist. Traditionally, hong niang would discuss the possibilities of marriage with the boy’s and girl’s families separately. If neither family objected to the proposal, the hong niang would then match the birth dates of the couple to predict their future. If the result was positive, they would then proceed with the wedding arrangements.
I’ve been feeling super ADD about my blog design lately and will most likely be changing it soon to something simpler that focuses more on the content. Just wanted to let y’all know so you don’t think you’re at the wrong site
Edit: New look is here!
This morning I had a random encounter with a stranger. It lasted perhaps no more than six minutes, but it was a great way to start my day. Before work, I stopped by the China Construction Bank near my house to do a fee-less cash withdrawal with my Bank of America card (see how to avoid the fee in my post titled “Withdraw cash in Beijing with NO FEE!“). A foreign-looking man was standing in line (and by foreign, I mean he was white) but I saw an empty ATM.
As an expat living in Beijing, married to a man from Henan and pursuing a career in digital marketing, I have a lot of different perspectives to write from. I realized the other day that one particular perspective, one I never really acknowledged as “unique,” was the one of me as the only girl on Beijing’s basketball courts. Playing basketball is a huge part of who I am, so it’s kind of funny when I think about how I never really talk about it on my blog. Actually, I guess it’s not so strange considering how I play far less often than I used to and am totally out of shape…not something I want to make known.
It’s been over a year and a half since Alex and I went back to the US (first time for him, so I guess he just “went” to the US, not “went back”). Since then, his visa has expired. For any new readers, I’m Chinese-American and my husband is a Chinese citizen. Moving on. I heard from a friend that he could renew his visa through a CITIC bank drop-off process, which means no interviews or waiting in line for two hours outside of the US Embassy – as long as he met the following conditions:
- He must be applying for the same type of visa
- He must be physically present in China
- His previous visa must have expired within the last 48 months