Monday, October 10, 2011


Anniversaries are funny things.  The majority of my students admit to having never celebrated a wedding anniversary as weddings tend to be tricky here in China.  Do they celebrate the day they signed their marriage contract, or the evening the couple hosted giant wedding reception/variety show in their honor?

Oddly enough, Jason and I had never celebrated an anniversary before.  We, like so many of our married Chinese counterparts, were a bit fuzzy on our details.  I mostly attribute this to a conversation that I love telling friends about.

On the afternoon of March 13, 2006...

G:  So I called my mom today to wish her a happy birthday.  She asked me about you.
J:  Mm-hmm...
G:  She asked about what's going on between you and me.
J:  Yeah?
G:  And I didn't know what to tell her.
J:  Well, I've been telling my friends you're my girlfriend for the past few weeks.
G:  ............

Yup, folks.  That's how a DTR happens.

Well, it's a good thing that wedding dates are a bit more definite.  And if this is where the bar is set for our very first anniversary celebration ever, then Jason has a lot to live up to for future anniversaries.

Here's how we celebrated our first year as a married couple:

We hopped onto our lovely e-scooter, Estelle, and made our way to the subway station.

En route to the restaurant...

...we saw dinosaurs in a shopping plaza!  Only in China...

We made it to our dinner spot and ordered up a Mediterranean feast that made us smile pitas.

We went for a stroll through brand new shopping malls with vacant store fronts.  Until I came to Beijing, I would never have expected to find a moment of peace away from crowds in a shopping mall.

We made our way to a Cantonese restaurant for a Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Parfait.  In the words of Donkey, "Everybody loves parfait!"  But Americans, take note.  Those are corn flakes on the bottom of the bowl.  This was one righteous parfait.
And here's the best part of our anniversary.  When we got married, Jason and I decided that we'd always give each other gifts made of the element that represents that anniversary.  Year one is represented by paper.  Jason commissioned a friend who is an art student to paint a watercolor of our first home as a married couple.

Everyone.  Welcome to our home.