China’s Caught With It’s Pants Down Again

August 31, 2008

China’s caught with it’s pants down again. Just let the foreign media into that country for a few months… and all kinds of things get exposed which China would rather not have the world know. China invited the world to take a look at the glitz and glamour of the country by way of the Olympics… but really doesn’t want the world to see behind the scenes into the lives of the people. Can’t have it both ways “Big Red.” Now that you’ve opened yourself up to the world… look out… all eyes are upon you and your human rights infractions.

Take a look at these two gals. Do they look like they’re a threat to the national security of the country? Not! Wu, age 79 and Wang, age 77, had the audacity to repeatedly apply for permits between August 5 and August 17, to hold a protest against being force out of their homes during the China Olympics. Oh my! Apparently they were “disturbing the public order.” Sentence? One year of “re-education” in a China prison.

Well gals, you’re not alone in being sent to be re-educated. Deng, who was the Chairman of the communist party between 1978 to the early 90’s was packed off in 1969 with his wife. As a important member of Mao’s cabinet, he was evacuated to the boonies as an important political prisoner. Apparently, Mao and other members of the Party didn’t approve of his point of view. Needed to get this man’s head on straight ya know.

For three years, his and his wife suffered great hardships. His son, Pufang, 25, was a brilliant physics student at Beijing University. He was taken prisoner by the savage Red Guard and beaten into insensibility in an effort to make him “confess” to the “treason” of his father. When that didn’t work, his torturers took him to the fourth floor of a dormitory and some how he just landed on the ground below ….leaving his legs paralyzed.

After three years, everything changed. Guards appeared in the early morning of Nov. 8 and escorted Deng and his wife to a Party meeting and then took them to their home. Immediately Deng went to his study and wrote a letter to the Central Committee declaring his full support. He presented himself to Mao as being ready in spirit and strength to undertake any task Mao had for him.

So you see gals, no one is exempt from being re-educated… unless the world gets a peak at the injustice of such actions by the police. Re-education allows the police to side step any formal charge or criminal trial to send the offender to prison up to four years.

In the glare of international attention… it seems that the government has acknowledge that the punishment might be a little too harsh and inappropriate. So for the time being, Wu and Wang have been saved from hard labor in a far off prison.

I go nuts when I hear of such injustice. And we supported the Olympics in China? I’m grateful to be an American… even as unsettled as things are right now.

Till later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana.

P.S. I still fear for these ladies. One day they will just quietly vanish because they’ve brought negative attention to the government of China. Pray for them.

Kids Book Plates To Print For Back To School

August 30, 2008

These book plates to print are for your kids. Going back to school is upon us and our summer routine will be drastically changed. Besides all of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for school, the little ones will be bringing home lots of books. Bookplates for children are a fun way for them to personalize their books and notebooks… they love it!

I’ve included a sheet of black and white book plates… for your kids to color… and a sheet of full color…so they just have to cut them out and put them in a book….or on their notebooks or where ever.

Simply print them on sticker paper. My choice is “Ink Jet Sticker Project Paper” by Avery. There are 15 sheets per packet… 8 1/12″ x 11″. Of course, you can print them out on card stock paper, or photo paper and use a little glue to adhere them to the book. Frankly… the ease of sticker paper would be my first choice.

You can generally find the sticker paper at an Office Supply or on line at Avery.

I took a few copies over for a couple of my grandsons, Glade and Randall, to look at and they grabbed the black and white ones… cause they wanted to color. These black and white printables are large…so they’re easy to color.


I was surprised to see Glade color the flowered bookplates first. Hmmm…I wonder who the flower book plates are for?


Then, he colored the dragonfly and added his name for his own notebook.


Randall went to town with the markers. He had a good time… He went through every one of the colored markers…. had to try them all, ya know.


Hey… just take a look at those baby blues… He’s a killer, huh?


Randall did a pretty good job with the scissors too.


Glade didn’t want to color all of them right then. He wanted to save some for school but… he cut his dragonfly book plate out right away!


His main class notebook is where Glade chose to put the bookplate he colored. He simply removed the backing from the sticker paper and placed the bookplate in just the right spot. Lookin’ good!


The full color sheet was a great choice for Glade to use in his smaller books. He ask if he could have
all the extras… cause he wanted to share the rest of the bookplates with his school chums. Good idea!

To get these free book plates to print, all you have to do is fill out the form below and I will e-mail you the book plate download links immediately. Once you’ve sign in… you’ll be on my list for all the future free goodies I send to my list.

Sign in now… so you won’t forget.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. My daughter Em came up with a great idea. “Mom, why don’t you do some small stickers that say, ‘This Belongs To’ or ‘This Is Mine’ so the sticker can go on pencil boxes… backpacks, crayons, glue, and all the little goodies that kids need to take to school.” Great idea Em… I’ll get on it right away. Look for these new little goodies in the next couple of weeks.

P.P.S. Even more reason to sign up below…so you won’t miss out on a thing!

5 Practical Back To School Ideas

August 30, 2008

Here’s 5 practical Back To School ideas that will be help you and your kids get back into the swing of things, now that the summer is over.

Going back to school can be stressful. There’s clothes shopping to be done, school supplies to purchase, bus schedules to review, registration forms to fill out, fees to pay, on top of the million other things you need to get behind you before the first day begins.

Kids also can feel a bit of school anxiety… will I like my teacher…will my teacher like me… will my best friends be in my class… what shall I wear on the first day? After the dust settles down… here are 5 tips to consider for making the school year run more smoothly for you and your kids.

Routine: Believe it or not.. kids like a routine. It takes some of the “unknowns” out of their lives. Can you imagine what it would be like to go into work everyday and not know what’s expected of you? What does the boss want me to do…what are my limitations… what is my job… how much freedom to I have within my job description… what can I do to please my boss?

Without a routine or guidelines… you would feel like you were walking on egg shells all the time. Your children have the same feelings when you don’t have a routine or guidelines. Talk about anxiety! Planning a back to school routine will help both of you get back into the groove of going back to school.

Things to consider are: What time do we get up… when will we eat breakfast…who uses the bathroom first… do we bathe in the mornings, or evening? What is the routine after school… do we work on homework before playtime or after playtime…. when do we practice the piano, what time can we plan on dinner… how much T.V. time do we have… what time do we go to bed?

Include them in the planning of the school routine. Of course your plan needs to be flexible but, for the most part, stick to the schedule.

Get Enough Sleep: More and more studies are being released, shouting the importance of children getting enough rest. Elementary children need at least 10 hours of sleep a night to be able to function at the top of their game the next day.

That mean, if a child gets up at 7:00 in the morning, he needs to be in bed by 9:00 in the evening. So, bed preparations need to start early so the lights are turned off by 9:00.

1. Having a set bed time gives them a target to work toward and trains their bodies towards the routine.

2. Turn off the TV and have a winding down period, which may include a bedtime story and a little bedtime song.

3. Get drinks and bathroom duties handled before the lights are turned out.

Believe it or not, studies show that Jr. high and high school students are routinely getting between 6.5 and 7 hours of sleep a night. They need a minimum of 8 hours or more during the puberty years… which can certainly be a challenge because their lives, like ours, is complex.

1. Homework can rob them of precious hours of sleep if they wait too long in the evening to get started. Waiting until bedtime to begin is not the ideal scene. Also, starting late often does not produce the best school work results because they’re tired and in a hurry.

2. Late phone calls and text messaging can infringe on their sleep time. Perhaps you can agree upon a time when phone calls or texting end for the day. It might encourage going to bed and getting enough sleep so they can be at their best in the morning.

3. They, like younger kids, need a winding down period. Perhaps, this might be the time when you can have a quite discussion about their day. I know of one mom, who would give her older kids a 5 minute back rub before they went to bed. I’ll have to say… that’s more dedication than I’ve got.

Lay Out Clothes and Get Backpacks Ready: Laying clothes out the night before and, having backpacks loaded with books and homework at the door, prevents “morning frantic panic.”

Even your young school kids can select their clothes the night before and have them ready to slip on in the morning. Have them place all of their clothes at the foot of the bed then, you can then check to see if their outfits are complete. “Oops, looks like your missing your socks.” Or, “The weather man said that it’s going to snow tomorrow…perhaps you need to select a different shirt.” They’ll soon get the drift of things and you won’t have to supervise as much. (Oh… and than means coats and gloves, boots etc. are also located the night before.)

Encourage your older kids to know what they’ll be wearing the next morning. No running the washer at five in the morning because they didn’t prepare well.

As soon as homework is completed and their reading is done, pack up the backpacks and place them at the door. If your signature needs to be on any papers, or they need money for a field trip, make sure those things are handled and in the pack before it’s placed at the exit. There’s nothing more frustrating than a kid waving a pen in front of your face as you’re driving them to school.

Eat A Healthy Breakfast: The school, a couple of my grandkids attend, sent a note home announcing tests were being given on a particular day and would parents see that their kids eat a healthy breakfast…. a breakfast of protein and grains and not sugared cereals etc. My thinking is… if that request is good enough on test days, it’s good enough for every day.

A child can be over stimulated by a breakfast of sugared products, therefore they can’t perform at their best… plus being a problem for the teacher. Scramble eggs with the addition of a little cheese can boost the protein in their breakfast. A cup of yogurt will give them protein… however, all yogurts aren’t alike. Watch the labels. So many yogurts are full of sugar and don’t contain beneficial enzymes. Again..read the labels. Use whole grain foods rather than products that have been striped of natural nutrients. (Oh, and watch the labels on peanut butter…some have a lot of sugar included.)

Keep A Sense Of Humor: Keeping a sense of humor goes along way between the the hours of 3:30 and 9:00. A frustrated mom creates frustrated kids. Keep to the schedule as much a possible but don’t take every little departure too seriously. Laugh a lot and keep things as light as possible.

When your kids get over-whelmed or have social problems, let them in on a few of your school challenges and mishaps. When kids feel you can duplicate their experience….it helps for them to know you understand.

I remember ending up at Jr. High with my P.J. bottoms hanging below my skirt. I would keep my bottom on to keep my legs warm until I walked out the door. This particular morning… I just forgot to take them off. I didn’t catch on until half way into my first period class…. talk about being embarrassed. Or, how about the time in elementary school, when I wet my pants in front of the class because a teacher wouldn’t let me be excused. And… that’s nothing compared to my wetting my pants on a date… but that’s a story for another time.

The experiences were tragic at the time… but I laugh about them now. Help your kids get a long range perspective. Keep them laughing.

Go for it… and good luck!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightfulnana.com

P.S. You can avoid confusion at school by having all of their books and notebooks labeled properly. Take a look at these fun book plates you can put in your kids books… I’m offering them to you for your kids… freeeeee.

China Olympics Finale – A Proud People

August 25, 2008

The China Olympics Finale was spectacular…all the fireworks, lights, and the thousands of entertainers were breath taking. China sure does know how to put on a show.

The stravaganza would not have been possible without the thousands of the individual Chinese people who contributed their time and labor and resourcefulness for the cause. The world was entertained, charmed by their efforts and graciousness. Thank you!

The citizens of China are a proud people… and I don’t mean vain. From my observation, I found them to be smart, ingenious, capable and a creative people.

One afternoon, we were standing on the street purchasing some antiques from a vendor when a fellow rode by on his bike toting a full size couch. Now that’s ingenious, capable and creative! It would have never entered my mind to move a couch on a bike… but I guess in that country… you do what you have to do… because there’s no neighbor down the street that’s going to rescue you with his truck.

Another time…we saw a fellow with 3 huge crates of ducks teetering on the back of his bike. The ducks were quaking and caring on. I guess they new their fate was to be Peking Duck… which by the way…I enjoyed immensely.

The Chinese tenacity leads me to the pride they take in their personal care. Nearly every factory we went into, even where the conditions were deplorable… I found there were whose who took great pride in their personal care.

We went to a factory that produces Styrofoam products. After being there for only a few minutes… we concluded most of the folks would be dead from cancer in a few years… that is… if they continued to breath the gagging toxic fumes that came from melting the Styrofoam and pouring it into molds.

These two young men were putting a glass like coating on Styrofoam apples… you know… the kind you see at Christmas time. One fellow would pull back the scum while the other dipped and turned the apples upright and put them on a shelf to dry.

They work a 12 hour shift… and the factory runs 7 days a week…24 hours a day. We learned, the workers at this factory only get a couple off days a month. They do go home for one month in Feb…. as all Chinese workers do. All factories such down for Chinese New Year.

Just take a look at what they’re wearing. I stood there in amazement. No splatters on their clothes. I can’t even hardly cook a meal without getting something down the front of myself. I would have had that red stuff all over the place.

This man was working in a Paper Mache factory. The conditions were awful! But look at his attire. From my own experience, paper mache is a messy business… all the wheat paste and all. Yuk!

These two guys were also working with paper mache. They were building Christmas trees. Look at the fellow in the white shirt and suit coat. Amazing! Not a drop of wheat paste on those cuffs.

This was not the first time we saw men working in suit coats. We witnessed them shoveling trenches, and loading cement.

I wonder if they dress well because that’s pretty much the only area where they have complete control over their lives?

This factory owner’s name is Sampson. His factory produces porcelain and resin products. He is from Hong Kong and was educated there. His family lives in Canada, where his children are being educated. (He has more than one child.)

His factory is in China… just inside the border from Hong Kong …. and it is immaculate and well organized. His employees are treated well… note the light… even the drapes are tied up to produce more light for his workers. However, we did notice there was no talking… you could have heard a pin drop. No idle “chit chat” for these folks.

Look at this gorgeous man! His name is Fang Wei, and he works for Samson and, he sculps all of the products in clay before they’re produced in porcelain or resin. He knew we were coming and he dressed for the occasion. Wow! I’ll tell you what… I never wore my Sunday best for visitors at my work. Take a look at that tie!

This is some of his fantastic work. These were three Christmas ornament I designed. His work was impeccable.

I wish all of China’s factories could be as nice as Sampson’s.

This young man was working in the most deplorable conditions we witness on our trip. There was only one light globe shining in the room… which was at least 25 feet away from him. The flies were treacherous and the smell was unbelievable, coming from open sewer areas. He was hammering one tiny nail at a time into the basket rim. He looked like a shiny diamond surrounded by muck and mire.

I learned a lot about, determination, perserverence and courage by visiting China. Sometimes, I wish I could instill just a little of what I learn to my grandkids when they whine about what’s “fair.”

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Hat’s off to the wonderful people of China for their contribution to the China Olympics. Again…Thank You!

P.P.S. What to know more about China? I recommend these books. Click on cover to review or purchase.

The China Olympics – Where Have All The Children Gone?

August 23, 2008

“Where have all the children gone?” This was one of the first questions I ask when I was in China. That’s when I became fully aware of the China One Child Policy. This policy was put into effect about 1979 under the leadership of Chairman Deng Xiaoping… who was also in control during the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The consequences of this policy has had detrimental effects on the society and will continue to be a problem for the citizens of China. The government of China has just announced that the One Child Policy will continue for another 10 years.

1. The picture that emerges is that some urban Chinese make the choice to perform gender selection with the first pregnancy, since they are allowed only one child. In rural areas, most couples are permitted to have a second child, especially if the first is female. So, if the second child is female, the pregnancy or child, often “disappears,” allowing the couple to have another child in an attempt to have a son. Millions of little Chinese girls have gone missing – on purpose.


If you have more than your allotted share of children, penalties are imposed. In many areas, only one child can be educated. If a second child is born… it’s considered an illegal child and cannot receive an education. If a couple will sign a One Child Only Document, they receive extra benefits such as better jobs, bonuses, better housing, and more vacation time.


This little gal was the daughter of Professor Tao’s assistant. He was so delighted with this child, he took her everywhere with us as we traveled from one factory to another. This child was one of the fortunate girls who has been spared.


2. The absence of young marriageable women is very apparent. Men 30 years old and younger are abundant at train stations, parks and other public places. In comparison, very few women are in site. This sad situation has left some men unable to marry and have a family. The inadequate supply of females has resulted in kidnapping and trafficking of women for marriage and has increased arranged marriages of children by parents who want future mates for their kids.


The Chinese people love their children… or should I say child… and they dote over them constantly. It was sad to learn how many school children were killed in the recent china earthquake. So many parents are now left childless.

One evening, a factory took us to a restaurant for dinner. A great celebration was in progress and everyone was excited. Someone had left a newborn baby girl on the door step of the restaurant…. asking the owner, who was a single man, to take child and raise her as his own. The gentleman was ecstatic. He had not married…. but now had the opportunity to have a child of his own.

My son, Wade, pointed out an interesting observation. Many of the ads during the China Olympics featured Chinese girls. “Who are they kidding,” he said…. “They don’t even like girls.”


All is not well in China. Behind the scenes of the China Olympics…human rights abuses continue. We cannot afford to be fooled by all the glitz and glamour.

Till Later

Kathy Griffith

Insightful Nana

P.S. 90% of all children who are adopted by U.S. parents are girls.

Talented McKenzie

August 22, 2008

My granddaughter, McKenzie, is one talented 14 year old. She, like her mom Emily, is bursting with musical talent…one of those gifted people who pick up an instrument and play everything by ear… no notes.

When McKenzie’s folks spent a great deal of money for her guitar… I thought it was a bit premature… spending that sum on someone who was so young. What if she didn’t take to it…. what if she was too young to appreciate its value….what if…. My worries were unfounded. Kenzie took to the instrument as if she had been born with it. She composes wonderful songs that she sings with her amazing voice.

Thanks Kenzie… I’m proud of you. “You Make My Heart Happy.”

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. Kenize is my first grandchild. We’re great buds!


Fresh Mex Salsa Recipe

August 21, 2008

A fresh mex salsa recipe is just what you need now that the tomatoes are reaching their peak. My homemade salsa recipe, “Fresh Mex Fiesta Salsa” will be a home run hit with your family. A sure thing for pot-luck-suppers, as well . It’s so good and hardy that we often make it a lite meal…along with a little fruit.

Since this fresh salsa keeps in the fridge for a couple of days, it’s great to snack on… especially if you have hungry kids or hubby that just want a bite to eat before dinner is ready. Of course… I think salsa is the best anytime of day… a bite or two for breakfast… a mid morning snack… and just before bed…. no I don’t get heart burn! Not from salsa anyway.

Even the salsa ingredients look good on their own… bright and cheerful. No need to write down the recipe. If you sign in below… I’ll send you a fancy printable copy for your files.

1 16 oz package of frozen corn… thawed and at room temp.

1 small green pepper, diced. 1 small red pepper, diced and 1 red onion, diced.

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped fine. 1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped fine (optional)
(Growing cilantro in your own container herb garden is easy)

1 can black beans, drained and washed and drained again
4 or 5 large tomatoes. (as as as desired for taste)
1/4 C white vinegar
1/2 C veg. oil or lite olive oil
2 tes. chili powder
2 tes. cumin powder
1 tes. salt

4 limes… (Hint: warm limes in microwave for abt. 30 sec. Roll limes on hard surface with palm of hand. Breaks juice buds inside. Get more juice from your limes.)

Combine all ingred. except tomatoes and lime juice. Add tomatoes last so you don’t mush them. Add lime juice to taste. I like lots of lime.

Chill for about 1 1/2 hrs. Serve with scoop tortilla chips.

Sit back and watch the video… it will make your mouth water!

Enjoy!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Sign in below for this Fresh Mex Salsa recipe and you’ll automatically get all future recipes and other goodies free. Collect all of the recipes and make a Insightful Nana recipe book and give it for Christmas. You can’t start to early you know!

All recipes fit into a 5X6 picture album. Click on the icon for an great album for a reasonable price.

P.P.S. Don’t worry about my passing your e-mail address along… I won’t do that. It will just between you and me. I hate spam.

Growing Cilantro In Your Container Herb Garden

August 21, 2008

Growing cilantro in your herb garden is easy…but in order to have a continuous crop, cilantro seeds should be sowed every two weeks. It’s a fast growing herb and can be harvest quickly.

Cilantro looks like parsley. In fact, it’s called Chinese Parsley. If you purchase a bunch at the store, smell it first and make sure it’s not regular parsley… the strong citrus like fragrance will let you know right away whether you’ve picked up the right plant.

The herb, cilantro, dates back to at least 1,500 B.C. It’s mention in historic Sanskrit writing.

Cilantro and the herb coriander come from the same plant. Coriander seed come from the blooms of the cilantro plant… it’s a two-in-one herb

Container gardening is ideal for a year round cilantro crop.

1. Find a container that is at least 28 to 20 inches wide and about 10 inches deep. Make sure it has good drainage.

2. Fill the container with good potting soil. I like to use soil that already has the fertilizer in it. I’ve found that Miracle grow works well. Moisten the soil before you sow the cilantro seeds.

3. The seeds are very fine, so sprinkle the seeds over the top of the soil. Cover the cilantro seeds lightly with soil. Spray the soil to moisten the top layer. The seeds will germinate in 7 to 10 days if the container is kept in a sunny spot. Keep the soil moist.

4. Harvest the cilantro by cutting it near the base of the plant… leaving about 2 inches of stems remaining in the container. If you harvest the cilantro herb on a weekly basis, new leaves will being to appear. You can usually get 4 cuttings.

5. When your 4 cuttings are complete… pull up plants and resow the area.

Cilantro is not only used in Mexican food, but it’s an herb frequently used in Chinese food as well.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. My recipe… Fresh Mex Fiesta Salsa calls for fresh cilantro. Check it out and sign up for a free printable copy.

Behind The Facade Of China Olympics – Scratching Out A Living

August 20, 2008

Behind the facade of the China Olympics, millions are scratching out a living… burdened by hard labor.

The factory workers of China probably have it pretty good, compared to millions of folks who can’t leave their villages to travel to the coastal areas and big cities where most of the factories are located. Most of China is rural… and the people are subject to harsh conditions and hard labor… at least by U.S. standards.

Our party arrived at a particular country hotel late in the the evening. I was surprise to see such a nice hotel out in a rural area. We were told that the hotel was new and many American and European business men and women stayed there… and of course… China government officials.

Very early the next morning, my boss, and our interpreter invited me and another designer, Marie, to join them in a little hike. We walked across the street, around a bend and there before our eyes was
a scene so foreign that I felt like I had stepped back into another century… to the old China I had read about in story books.

We entered an old cemetery that was build on the side of a mountain. A steep stairway went to the top flanked by large above ground tombs. These above ground tombs are opened when a family members dies. I guess I assumed that the people would be buried underground… boy was I wrong.

At the entrance, we passed a gentleman who was busy chiseling a plaque or decoration for a tomb…by hand no less. No power tools here. (They must have sent all the power tools to Home Depot… not any left to supply the workers of China.)

These folks were lined up getting ready for their days labor… and I mean labor. The goal? Packing these bags of cement and materials to the top of the mountain. You have to be kidding. Note the young woman in the middle of the photo.

Here goes the first worker… with a few supplies. I was tired already

These bags of cement weight about 100 lbs. each. Notice the young lady. They make up to 20 trips a day… climbing hundreds of stairs. I don’t think they’d like to hear us complain about a “hard day at the office.”

The path was steep. Just getting up this high in order to take these photos wore me out… and these workers were just getting started for the day.

My question is this. Why are there conditions such as this… in a country that provides so many products that make our lives so easy? Why can’t the workers in China have a few of the same conveniences?

The hotel we stayed in proves that there is the ability to make conditions different for the masses. It seems to me that the only time convenience and luxury is apparent… is when someone is trying to impress others….kind of like the China Olympics wouldn’t you say? What a facade.

I’m not impress with a government that goes to such lengths to impress the world when it’s own people suffer from the lack of conveniences that would make their lives easier.

It doesn’t speak very highly for a “socialized government.”

I’m grateful to be living in the United States…. and I’m for protecting our liberties at all costs… what about you?

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. One last photo of “scratching out a living in China.” This barefoot woman was breaking dirt clods with a hoe so she could plant a little garden. Just look at the size of those things. You see… all the roto tillers were sent to Home Depot… not one left for the average citizen of China.

Food At The China Olympics – Behind The Scenes

August 18, 2008

Food at the China Olympics will be amazing…Peking duck, Duck Tongue (still in the jaw, no less,) Pigeon Soup, Pig Tail Soup, and many more delicious choices for adventuresome attendees.

The first meal I had in China was scramble eggs with tomatoes in it. The second meal presented to our table was a fish on a plate… with it’s head on… and its eye staring up at me. I was a bit taken back. But…it wasn’t long before I got into the groove of the food and loved it. (Had to pass on the duck tongue though.)

We were generally guests of factory owners, who wanted to share the very best with us. We dined in the finest places. The offering generally look like the photo. Notice the small the plate in front of us. That’s because you eat once item at a time and don’t need trencher. Using the chop sticks, you lift the food on to your plate, eat it and serve yourself the next dish. I found the food to be very good… although very different than the Chinese food served in the states.

However… when your behind the scenes… the fair can be a bit different. The “real people” of China don’t dine the way we did. A simple bowl of rice… perhaps a few greens… and on occasion… a little meat is the standard for most of the people.

This photo is, a behind the scenes experience… in a rural factory. Yes…we’re in a bathroom… and yes… that is a squat toilet. (That squatting business is a whole other experience… and one I don’t care to repeat anytime soon.)

Yes… we’re still in the bathroom…and yes… those are chicken feathers. You guessed it. The meal, that we were invited to stay for, was being prepared in the bathroom. Puck the chicken… clean the chicken… cut up the chicken. Just outside the bathroom door… a young woman was getting ready to cook the chicken. Not a pretty site!

As gracious as the factory owner was trying to be… I had no desire to join him and his small staff for dinner. I whispered into my bosses ear… “I don’t think we should stay for dinner. The chicken is being prepared in the bathroom.”

After thanking the factory owner for offering to prepare a meal for us… we excused ourselves with, “Oh we just remembered… we’re late for another factory appointment,” pretense. Whew!

Now that we’ve moved from dining in China to “potty talk”… there is just on more thing you need to know… especially if your at the China Olympics, dining at a fine restaurant. Don’t squat on the western style toilets. No, No,…you sit down on them.

Yes, this sign was posted in the bathroom of a restaurant where we dined. It was a pretty nice place… and apparently, many locals… or the common folk… didn’t know how to use the bathroom properly, and this little sign was a reminder on how to use a “western style” toilet. Yep… I’m sure you get the picture.

I’m sure the Olympic guests will be served China’s finest foods … along with the American Hamburger. They most likely will never have the pleasure of being ask to stay for dinner… where the chicken is prepared in the bathroom. Of course… you never know what’s behind the scenes at the China Olympics.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I bet that most of the China Olympic guests will never see a “squat toilet”. They don’t know what their missing… and I mean missing!

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