Ever wonder what it’s like to live or travel another country? Look no further, because the video below will give you a dose of walking the streets of Qingdao, China. Let’s  go!

BBB News, April from 10,000 Smiles


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My New Blog

Hello Everyone,

You can now visit my blog at aprilmaura.com; I will begin posting from there. Make sure to update your bookmarks and/or your feeds to stay updated of the adventures to be held in China.

April Maura

These pictures were taken months ago and it’s for this reason this week that I plan on posting old posts that I was saving for a rainy day. I was given that advice from other bloggers. Now that I’m half-way around the world with my best friend and husband, I have decided to post them instead of saving them. I will rewind and walk down memory lane this week. Stay tuned and see what life was like in Arizona and in a week’s time you will be seeing the good old Chinese life.

101 on Spicy Korean Food

One fall afternoon in Qingdao, China my husband and I ventured by taxi to a Spicy Korean restaurant.

Now for a foreigner to Korean food there are some customs one must know:

1) Take your shoes off on the elevated dining floor. Asians streets are filthy and they want to keep this dining area spotless.

2) Sit like the Koreans on mats. (Note- Korean chop sticks are made out of metal instead of wood like the Chinese chopsticks.)

3) Watch your waitress turn the hot iron skillet on and bring out your dishes.

4) Don’t let the name “Korean potato pancake” fool you into thinking it’s something out-of-this-world because it’s not. It was rather a neutral taste, nothing extraordinary.

5) Watch your waitress cook your food.

5) Pile the Korean meat and vegetables onto your vegetable wrap. After enjoying the delicious meal ask the waitress/waiter to take a memorable photo (I love how these pictures came out blurry; it tells the story of how they were taken).

6) Thank your Korean waitress.

7) Do as the Koreans do and walk off the paleo food.

Warning: The spicy Korean food may not sit well with Western stomachs.

The hidden treasure is through those double doors.

The entrance to the food court.

For a couple weeks Denny and I had walked by the Taigu Shopping center near Jusco in Qingdao, China thinking it was a garden shop. Little did we know walking through the underground hallways of the Jusco plaza we would land on this gold mind of good food. The place was literally under our noses.

Meet the clean food court.

If you ever travel Qingdao and your looking for a restaurant that serves Chinese in a clean atmosphere then visit the Enjoy Cultures in Foods court. I have only eaten at two of restaurants but by the looks of the name of the court and selections of foods I have seen, I think it’s a food court that serves all types of Chinese delicacies. If you visit this food court you will have a lot of options. The place doesn’t only appear clean but the meals are cheap and prices are fair. The average meal I would say is under 30RMB (that’s less than $5).

A restaurant at the food court that we have eaten at.

This dish has been my favorite so far. Don’t let the shine fool you. This picture shows the fake food on display of the menu choices at many of restaurants in the food court. The fake food makes ordering more dummy proof but there is still guessing sometimes on the meat.

It’s so much fun finding places that have good food in China!

Dawt and Rual’s Wedding

It was a blessing to be a part of Dawt and Rual’s wedding. It was my first “first shooting” experience for a wedding. Thank you Matt and Lindsay for allowing me to borrow your external flash. It made the pictures that much better. Thank you Barbara for giving me the photography opportunity and Dawt and Rual for allowing me to be a part of their special day of becoming one.

July 22, 2012

The ceremony was done as a traditional Burmese wedding. The ceremony was conducted in their Burmese language, and I wasn’t given an itinerary. It was difficult anticipating what event was going to happen next, although I was honored to see a Burmese wedding!

Did I mention I only had about 10 minutes to take the couples wedding pictures? It was a speedy session, no time for beginners.

If you would like to see more pictures of the wedding watch this slideshow.

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50%off Hamburgers

Let me just rave for a few minutes on how awesome that this place is in Qingdao, China. The food is very tasteful, my hubby and I will be spending many future date nights here. I can vouch for the hamburgers since that’s all I have had there so far. The food is even better on Monday night when the hamburgers are half off, yes 50% off, meaning the meal is only about 25RMB (about $4 for a fancy smancy cow depending on the hamburger style you select).If you buy a hamburger the side dishes include french fries and a fresh salad.

Date night with my best friend.

In this book my creative husband came up with a cute game! We were to randomly drop our finger on a page, without looking and create a story on that topic. Genius!

Borrow Books for FREE

Not only do the prices speak my language but the restaurant offers customers the ability to borrow books and return them on a honest policy base and wait for it….books in English, IN CHINA. The Lord blessed me with a book called “A Time to Embrace” by Karen Kingsbury. I literally couldn’t put the book down.

The restaurant is owned by two partners, a Chinese man and a woman who is from South Korea. The woman is married to a Canadian and has lived there too. I was amazed and so proud of the woman for opening this restaurant and that she handles most of the business. (Note to foreigners, the easiest way to have a business in China is to partner with a native). She’s one smart cookie, she did a really good business move to take a usually slow night like a Monday and make it the busiest with a discount off an item.

If your looking for western food in Qingdao, China then visit The Canvas. It’s the place to be folks.

It was my first time in China over a month to see a chocolate chip cookie. It’s the size of my face. It hit the craving but wasn’t my all-time favorite kind, soft, chewy and gluten-free. Note to viewers. You see the black chalk board sign?  Notice the tiny writing that says “Saturday” that is when these fancy drinks are on sale for 20 RMB.

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