Monday, April 23, 2007

The itinerary for re-entry into the life we miss.

"Nee how"

We leave on Thursday. Please pray for the travel. This trip rocked the kids' world last go around. Aimee and I are dreading it a little bit but, at the same time, learned some lessons that we are applying this time.

We borrowed a portable DVD player. I've loaded DVDs on the iPOD. Batteries are fully charged. The laptop can play a couple DVDs before it's battery goes night night. Gameboy is ready. We got some new, small toys for the kids to crack open on the trip. We are flying coach this time and we lose the luxuries afforded in business class. Luxuries like room for my knees and power plugs.

The other challenge is that our seats are 2 behind the other. They could not get 4 seats together. Pray for the poor souls that gets stuck to each "pair" of our seats (There are 3 in a row within that section of the plane). Some unfortunate person is going to get the ride of their life. Hopefully, they've had kids. I plan to ask for help getting 4 seats together but believe that's a long shot. Pray for this specifically please.

Here's the schedule:

Depart Shanghai Thursday, 10:00am Northwest flight 026

Arrive Detroit Thursday, 1:40pm (I wish this was a 4 hour escapade)

Depart Detroit Thursday, 3:28pm NW1453

Arrive Grand Rapids Thursday, 4:18pm

Our home phone number is turned back on. It's the same number as before.

Couting the hours.....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Haves versus Have nots

We have seen first hand the gap between the rich and poor in Shanghai. The middle ground is small and shrinking. The juxtaposition of the two extremes never seemed closer than in the pictures on Evert's blog. You can check it out here.....or come visit us and see it first hand. : )

I've also added a link to Evert's blog, VANSTEENBLOGEN . Check it out for sights/scenes in Shanghai that are "off the beaten path".


Monday, April 16, 2007

Dude, where's your blog?

I added a couple new links to the Bowman Blog "friends and favorites". Look for PTAcoustic and BurningBusch to the right of your screen.

And if you've got a blog that gets updated more than every 2 months (Gatica! you've set the bar LOW!), give me your blog address. I'll link up to it.

Here's a quick story....

We all have gotten ample opportunity to develop our charades (you know, act out a word without speaking) skills here in China. When "conversing" with a person that doesn't speak your language, charades is the one common denominator. Despite the fact that most of my colleagues at work speak good english, a few charades thrown in always seems to drive the point home.

Well, our friend Florence stopped by a couple of weeks ago. Though originally, from France, she now lives in England and speaks wonderful English. After Florence left our home, Aimee had a suspicious smile on her face. It turns out that I was using hand motions with Florence. And not just typical, "talk with your hands" motions, but the more obvious.

Specifically, I explained that Aimee was "flying on an airplane back to the USA because she was pregnant" both verbally and with my hands/arms. I've made the same explanation at work many times recently. Well, with arms outstretched followed by a round-shaped rub of my pregnant "tummy", I probably insulted Florence's intelligence, without even realizing it. Aimee and I had a good laugh about it. And hopefully you will too.

See ya.

Oh, and a new friend gave me a tip on a cool website if you fly very often (yes, my arms are extended right now). If you know the airline and plane type, check out for the inside track on best seats and seat provisions.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rex Kwon Do, read post below for why this apparent nonsense is actually relevant

Caption Contest is closed for business.

The panel of a judge (a friend from our neighborhood) selected the following 5 as the favorites:

1. "I didn't mean to give him a wedgie, I was just swimming with my eyes shut and..."
2. "But I told him to turn THAT way."
3. "the kid-safe pool is that way?"
4. "I need to go over there. I smell a foul odor here."
5. "Yeah, Elijah, let's go play over there. I just peed by this weirdo and I don't want to be around when he's running from the warm current. "

We walked the streets of Shanghai and asked 100 people for their favorite from among these captions. Only 2 of the people spoke english and they couldn't understand the concept of a, Aimee gave them each a wedgie you would not believe. Both then voted for #1 as they flapped around on the ground like a fish out of water.

So, the winner is #1 as submitted by the infamous anonymous chicken.

Please step forward and claim your prize......BT? Your prize is forthcoming once you confirm your identity. All others, your consolation prize is an 8 week enrollment into Rex Kwon Do's self defense class. Thanks to Phil for this one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Greetings Blog Space Cadets

Hey, there are a couple of things to discuss today.

1. The Bowman's are returning to Michigan soon for a visit and a baby delivery. The final dates are still a little fluid but here is the prelim itinerary:

- All Bowman's fly back to US on April 26 (LA - we'll need a dance schedule from you)
- Ryan flies back to China on May 5
- Ryan flies back to US on June 13
- Aimee delivers baby on or around June 22
- All Bowman's fly back to China on July 27

Things have changed significantly because Ryan has to be back in Michigan for business the latter 2 weeks of June and July. It enables Aimee to have the baby in the USA which she is excited about.

2. The panel of judges has written in their 5 favorite comments but I want to post a survey. The one's I've tried in the past, (Kareoke anyone?) did not work for me. Has anybody out there got a survey site that they use? If I don't hear back soon, I'll just put the top 5 captions on a post and let you post your votes.

3. Since we will back in Michigan, might anyone have car seats that we can borrow so we don't need to buy new? I don't want to ship ours back. We would need a baby carrier, a 2 year old car seat (~30 pound size), and a booster for Anna, or just a large box with some duct tape and pillows.

4. I deleted the previous posts that made reference to the big "barrier" regarding Al Gore's "information superhighway" on a tip from a friend and now I have blog access again (it had turned off again after I wet my pants in an earlier post). This sentence was written specially so as to keep everything real "simple". ; )

That's all folks.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pictures from Papa and Bacca's visit PLUS caption contest update

Here are some pictures from a few of the festivities enjoyed with Papa and Gramma. One of my favorite pictures is all of us, minus Papa surrounded around Aimee as she negotiates the final price on a pair of sunglasses for Mom. We nicknamed Aimee "Nails" as in "Tough as nails" after she negotiated low prices on sunglasses and a purse for Mom that day.

A few of the highlights:

1. Shanghai zoo

2. Shopping, shopping and shopping

3. Having clothing tailor made at the fabric market. (Check out Papa's new suit and overcoat)

4. Watching the Buckeye/Hoya game Final Four 6:08am on Sunday at Bubba's bar & grille in Shanghai. When was the last time you ate BBQ wings at 7:30am?

5. Playing outside

6. Showing Papa and Gramma our life in Shanghai

7. Ryan and Papa playing about 45 games of ping pong over 3 marathon sessions. Each of us one 22.5 games.

8. Ate lots of good Chinese food.

9. Watched Band of Brothers and Everybody loves Raymond videos.

10. Shaghai aquarium, Super Brand Mall, the Bund and other Shanghai sites.

Oh, and a panel of judges has received all the caption contest entries and will identify their top 5. Those 5 will reappear on this here blog in the next few days. Then, the people can vote. The prizes are