Friday, December 31, 2010


We live for our Fridays. It is our day of the week to do whatever we want or absolutely nothing at all. It is the only day where nothing is planned or expected of us. And so, here we sit, on our bed, studying, reading and blogging. We have dinner plans at a Chinese place around the corner and the rest of the day to enjoy. I haven't even made breakfast yet, but our stomachs are beginning to motivate me to rectify that situation. We usually spend the day preparing some Chinese lesson or reading a magazine article. We decided to have one day a week to rest and recuperate from the week's activities and prepare for the weekend. Ooh, my stomach just growled again, better go make something!


Friday, December 24, 2010

How Could I Forget!

I'm not sure what possessed me to make dinner plans at a restaurant, LAST NIGHT. A temporary memory lapse (no smart remarks please) caused me to forget that yesterday was the 24th. I didn't realize it till we were on our scooters fighting thru unusually cram- packed streets. It was like Mardi-Gras or the circus had come to town. People selling balloons, cans of silly string and cellophane-wrapped apples were EVERYWHERE! Ren shan ren hai! 人山人海 means there are people from the mountains to the sea, everywhere. It had the feeling of a carnival the way people were running around, buying red hats, balloons and spraying silly string on each other. Yeah, that is the Christmas custom here. Don't ask me! Anyway, we fought thru and ended up at a huge food court where we had shrimp hotpot and grilled meat and veggies. It was packed full of people and loud, but we still had a good time. Then Frank took a friend home and I raced back to the safety and relative quiet of our cold apartment, made popcorn and cranked up the space heater in the office. Whew!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Well, would you look at that?

We are back on Blogger, again! We will see how long it lasts this time.

A Typical Thursday

Today, I am writing this blog from the school's computer lab. My students are taking online IELTS Listening tests and then they will watch videos of students who scored well on the speaking part. They only have a few weeks before the test and their stress level is through the roof. There is so much pressure from parents, teachers and school officials for these young people to pass a test they are not prepared for. I try to lessen the stress by having fun activities like computer lab or use speaking practice sessions to talk about things they are interested in, like America. After this class, Frank and I will eat lunch together in the office and he will have his Chinese class. Then 2 hours later, I have my last class with level 1 students. I get to be more creative with them since it will be a year or more before they take this test. We played with balloons last week to teach them the TH sound. TESOL training has definitely come in handy! Thursdays are long days. I used to have an 8:40 class as well. Now I don't have to be here until 10:30am. We finish up around 4pm but most of our time is spent waiting for the next class and the long lunch break. I am here 5 1/2 hours with only 3 hours work. Frank is worse, he has 4 1/2 hours but is here from 8:30-4:00. Such is the life of English teachers in China. At least we are getting paid and have a great boss! It could be much worse! I enjoy having the day with Frank though. Its like when we were first married and worked together doing construction. After school and the hour ride home(for slow poke me, that is), we arrive home exhausted and make dinner or sometimes we go to a friends house for a few hours. The best part is that after our long day, Friday comes, our day of rest.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eggnog For Two

I was going to make myself some homemade hot chocolate but decided to experiment with eggs instead. Here is my very easy, very fast (10 min), eggnog recipe:

2 1/2 coffee cups of milk, warmed up in a pot

a few tablespoons of sugar, sweeten to your taste

sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg (grated whole nutmeg is best)

a few drips of vanilla (its precious stuff here so have use sparingly)

2 eggs beat well in the coffee cup you already used (no need making more dishes)

Add the Vanilla to the eggs. Add the sugar and spices to the milk as it warms up. Be careful not to let it boil or you will get that yucky skim on top. Use a whisk to keep it moving. When it is almost scalding, slowly pour some into the coffee cup with the eggs while you quickly stir with a fork. I did it twice, a little milk at a time till the cup was almost full. Then, slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot and whisk briskly until almost boiling. It will create a bit of foam on top. Ladle out and sprinkle with more grated nutmeg. Serve and enjoy!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Market Values


Inflation has hit hard here and the first indication is found in the local vegetable markets. 市场 (shi chang). Newspapers and other reporters are beginning to take notice of the impact this has had all over China. The government too has started taking interest since in some places the prices have as much as doubled in a matter of months. Part of the reason seems to be the loss of farmable land due to development. Another reason is the cost of transporting those vegetables has also risen. In our area, an agricultural province, the vegetables do not have to come so far, but that has not stopped people from raising the prices. If you ask why it was less expensive yesterday, they just say: "taxes" and you basically have no solution except not to buy or keep looking for a cheaper price. The price of a carton of milk went from 7.50Y to 8.50Y for about a month and then just like that, it was back to 7.50Y. Do prices really change that quickly or was I being gouged? My friend who shops at the same place never paid more than 7.50Y. Hmmm. Interesting. The government has set up stands all over the city where vegetables are sold at a slightly reduced rate. These are mobbed early in the morning and not much is left by the time we head home from work and have time to stop and buy. They mostly have green, leafy vegetables but I have seen a few with tomatoes and other veggies. I brought a bag today just in case I have an opportunity to buy some. For you living in western countries, this rise in price may not seem so harsh considering how high prices are already. However, when many people here make about $13 US a month, paying twice as much for anything puts things in perspective.

"A quart of wheat for a denarius, and 3 quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine"-John


A Frozen...Chin??

I made the mistake of thinking today's weather would be as warm and sunny as yesterday. We all know what happens when you assume, don't we? Thanks to my loving husband, who also assumed, I got a heads up about the "biting cold" along with a request for me to bring the coat he left behind. I was well bundled on my scooter with the extra coat on my lap, a heavy scarf on my head and yes mom, I wore my helmet! However, the only unprotected area was my nose, mouth and chin since the air blew under my face shield as I rode along. I have never had a frozen chin before! Seriously, I could not feel it and hitting it with my hand did nothing, except draw attention to the strange foreigner. It only thawed after I got my hands on China's very inventive little electric hot water bag and sunk my whole face into it. It is 0*C today, around 30F but with a wind chill well below that. Combine the strong winds with driving a scooter and you have... a frozen chin!!


"When the goose honks high, fair weather; when the goose honks low, foul weather"-proverb

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Robbed Again!

I don't think its the money lost that is the issue, but more the feeling of betrayal and helplessness that is left behind when you are robbed. Today, my bike charger was stolen while I was in class at the high school. It was quite possibly another teacher and that really hurts. Nothing is sacred and it is very hard to trust anyone. In a country where "first-come-first-serve" and "survival of the fittest" are the motto for most, I understand why things are stolen so frequently. However, that understanding is not enough to keep me from feeling fed up with the whole thing. I guess it's progress that, instead of getting angry, I was just frustrated and consigned to accepting the loss. I didn't even tell the guards because, well... what can they do? Nothing. I just went and bought a new one. There is always the possibility of losing anything you own, so we have to consider that with every single purchase. Can I bear to lose this?? I am sure it will be something to laugh over very soon.



"Anger is the outcome of the tongue working faster than the brain"-Anon.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Little Things

Our apartment was a lot cheaper than all the others. It was much bigger too. But things like hot water in the shower sometimes are worth the extra expense. This place has been outfitted with solar panels, which may sound great to many. However, the weather has been cloudy, cold and rainy for most of the past two months. Know what that means? NO HOT WATER!!! We let the water run for 30 min. or more hoping it will warm up but, nope. We are going to have to install water heaters at our own expense. The landlord came yesterday to talk to us about it and we discovered that when they installed the plumbing, they did not install a water access valve inside the apartment that we could connect to. So, there is only one kind of water heater we can use. Its a tank that mounts on the wall and plugs into the outlet and the shower tap. He said he would look into prices and installation and get back to us. So we have to start saving for that. Always something! How are we getting along with no hot water, you ask? The same way we did with no washing machine, roughing it! We boil water on the stove for dishes and baths. We haul the stock pot and the kettle into the bathroom, stand at the sink or in the shower and take a bird bath. The water can be as hot as we like! Our water bill should be miniscule too. At least we can escape to our little office with the heater and stay nice and toasty. We have since abandoned the living room, taking the smaller couch with us. Here, surrounded by books, our computers and a wall covered with friends, we spend our quiet time in the evening and any other chance we get, like now. I can't wait for warmer weather! We went out this morning but during lunch, the sky fell and we scurried back to our hole, soaking wet. We ride scooters remember.



"Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not"-Unknown

Monday, December 6, 2010



I have discovered the pattern of driving in China! I can get to and from work every day without hitting anyone or getting hit by anyone. (Unless it’s Frank, who I have rear-ended and been rear-ended by - He pulled in front of me, stopped suddenly so I hit him, and then just creamed me in the back and broke my fender!) Other than that, there is a real pattern to the mayhem of traffic. That's the pattern-Mayhem! You simply assume that everyone will do everything you don't want them to do and you've got it. The person on the curb who is staring at you will walk in front of you at the last moment. The cars with the red light will run it so wait a full minute after your light turns green for them to race through, along with that string of bikes and scooters coming from all directions, taking advantage of an "empty" intersection. Then proceed slowly, which is no problem for me, since the hamster in my motor has to get warmed up again to build momentum. Watch out for ALL pedestrians coming from ALL directions. The stripes in the crosswalks are for your aesthetic viewing pleasure only. They do look nice contrasted with the bright yellow vest of the traffic guard and his bright red flag that says “Civilized ‘our city’ Civilized people”. Poor guys, there must be a high turn-over rate since the flow of traffic nearly runs them over.

Don’t forget! The turn signal, much like in America, is used as an afterthought if used at all. Expect people to turn left or right at a moments notice and always across your path, Never assume they will complete the turn, or you will be smashed up against their passenger door. Someone will cut them off in the front or they may decide this is the perfect place to park! Like I said, piece of cake!

Jingle Bells?

You hardly realize its already December until you enter the local monster stores like Carrefour and Walmart. Suddenly, you are inundated with holiday fever. For a country that does not profess Christianity, they have certainly adopted the Christmas commercialized spirit. Pushing, shoving, yelling, grabbing, while all par for the course in any season, are taken to a new level in honor of the upcoming Winter festivities. And there's that music, pouring out of the speakers. How did they manage to find the worst possible versions of every song? You know how they get stuck in your head this time of year? Imagine its the chipmunks, man! Or some Chinese song that sounds just like O' Susanna! I rest my case! I had made up my mind to avoid anything larger than a vegetable market and still found myself at Carrefour twice this weekend, in the city center no less! What was I thinking? I feel certain the scars will fade by next Winter. Meanwhile, I will forego the Western amenities only found at these overrun establishments until the storm wreaks its havoc and dissipates. Then, I will have to make a mad rush before the real insanity that is the Chinese New Year begins. Be afraid, be very afraid!

You definitely don't want to forget the best gift this year:

Spray Snow and Spray Flowers: Glorified Silly String! That's right, IT'S BACK!


"When the blind leadeth the get out of the way!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ooh, That Voodoo That You Do


I came home one afternoon to find these feathers taped to the wall along the stairwell. Chicken feathers. Maybe they keep some evil spirit at bay. Or maybe they are supposed to make an elevator magically appear! Many of our neighbors have similar fears or wishes. Most burn incense at the base of their door and put lucky Chinese characters on their doors. Some days I have to cover my mouth to get up the stairs without choking on the acrid smoke and pungent smell. Heaven forbid one of the neighbors come down the stairs puffing away on a stinky Chinese death stick! (Cigarette). Our neighbor on the 7th floor is the worst or perhaps she has only been there longer than everyone else. Her incense cup is overflowing and every morning, she puts three new burning sticks in. When we rented this place, I found two cut water bottles full of incense sticks in the kitchen. I was worried they had brought the heebee jeebees in and quickly asked the landlord what they were for. He said they were simply to remove the new construction smell from the rooms. I asked again to be sure, adding that maybe they were part of some Buddhist ritual. He assured me they were only for deodorizing. I am sure I could have found something more fragrant than burning sticks. I took them out in the hall way and put them next to our neighbors and then thought better of it. They are still sitting in the window sill on the 6th floor. No one wants them and I keep forgetting to take them all the way down. At least they didn't shoot firecrackers off when we moved in to rid the apartment of evil. See, there is always a silver lining!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

A China Month

Ok, maybe it is just the rain but it seems like we are not wanted here. We couldn't find an apartment that we could afford, and had to move out of our present apartment. My phone got stolen, Frank's scooter got stolen 6 days after we bought it, we had to pay double what we expected to move and a host of other little things. To top it off, just the other night, Frank's second scooter got heisted! From a paid parking area! You can imagine Frank's anger and frustration! While waiting for the cops, he decided to look around like we did the last time, if only for his peace of mind. You have to try. He found them! Two guys in an alley were picking his lock. They denied everything, standing in front of his bike and then started to take off. Frank caught one, they were small, and held him while sitting on his scooter until the cops arrived. The guy running the ting che or parking area had to be in on it because the only way they could have stolen it was to pick it up and carry it out the entrance, under his nose. Frank got home at 2am. I was begging for just a little help, a break. I am so grateful that he got his bike back. We are determined to stick it out though. Usually when things go wrong, it is because you are doing what you are supposed to, right?


Hearing VS. Listening

My language skills have improved to the point that I can recognize when people are talking about me behind my back, I'm just not sure what they are saying exactly. Now when I am in public, instead of being in a bubble of ignorance, my brain struggles to translate what is happening around me. The danger is when you try to respond to something you've "heard". Be sure you also got the sense of it (listened) before you speak or you may embarrass yourself. I came close to this the other day but survived since I kept my mouth shut. I was walking down the street with a friend when I overheard a mother talking to her daughter just behind us. I heard "美奴鸡蛋吃“(meinu jidan chi) which is bad grammar for 'beautiful women eat eggs.' I asked my friend if that was a Chinese Proverb or some wise saying, thinking I could use it to start a conversation. She said, " I think she was just telling her daughter to get in the car, 上车(shang che)。Yeah, it's a work in progress.


A Moving Tale

We are encouraged so often to simplify, simplify, simplify. I thought selling everything we owned and moving across the globe meant we had that covered. Would you believe it took two moving trucks to get our stuff transplanted? They didn't pack the first truck very well but even then we had more stuff than room allowed. Where did it come from? I guess even in our situation, you have to be careful with accumulating things. Those poor moving guys. At least the first apartment had an elevator. They carried everything up 6 flights to the apartment only to be told it all went upstairs on the second floor of the apartment. Even the washing machine which weighs about the same as a small elephant! A little Chinese dude strapped it to his back and away he went. I wonder what they thought about my clear rubbermaid container of dirt. Foreigners are so wierd! Hey it is homemade, organic compost! They told us we had too much stuff, but I have seen Chinese apartments and we have less than half what they do. They just get to buy the apartment and not move every year. I will be selling a bed, the futon and the washing machine before we move again in a few months. We have moved to the other side of our city so we will start exploring again. When it stops raining. It has rained every day this week and all day long. It stinks since my mood is affected by the weather. I have had time to do some crocheting though. When I have internet access for more than an hour or two at a time, I will post pics of our present accomodations. I remembered my plants this time and they are sitting on the balcony in the rain. The apartment is about 200 square meters which I think is about 1800 square feet. Nope, just googled it, 2152.758 square feet!! It is a massive place which is why living together with another couple is not so bad. Plus we like them. There are two floors both with bathrooms. Ours has a tub with jacuzzi jets that we haven't used yet. The jets that is. Our floor is basically the loft of the building so the rooms have angle ceilings and windows that follow the slant of the roof. That means no opening windows if it will rain. I forgot this rule the other day and left the house with them all open. I didn't know it would rain. It poured, into the rooms. Our bed and the futon were soaked. My vacuum did too and I haven't turned it on to check the damage. I don't learn fast apparently, because the rain let up and since it was so hot and muggy, I opened them up again, just a crack. It hit me later and I screamed for Frank to HELP!!!! No damage that time. I bet you can picture the look on Frank's face as he came back down. You know, the cocked head, all knowing eyes and the face that says, "Babe, you know better but why did you open them agai? Crazy woman." Yep, that's me!

Annnnnnd......We're Back!

I don't know how long this will last but right now I have access to blogger so all my posts will be on both sites. There may be more pics here though since Blogger rocks!!! Stay tuned!...


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blog change!

Hi everybody!! This is an official apology to all of my faithful readers. I am so sorry for not being clear about the changes in our blogs. When we returned to China in September of last year, we discovered that Blogger had been completely blocked. My entries after that were with the help of my sister Jennifer who posted them from the emails I sent. I soon set up a new blog using typepad though, and thought that I had informed everyone thru blogger. Since I have been back this month, I have discovered why only a handful of people have seen it. NO ONE KNEW!!! I am very sorry!! My new blog is: it is not as fancy as blogger but there are over 60 blogs already posted. If you scroll to the bottom of the screen you will see the button for previous post. You will just have to keep pushing it until you reach the beginning and start from there. I hope I will see more comments from returning readers. I had not forgotten you and have not stopped writing and taking pictures. Frank however has slacked off because he is busier than ever. His blog: does have several entries though if you want to check it out. Please do! We miss hearing your comments and knowing that people still remember us. Hope to see you soon on typepad!!!!!!
"I would forget my head if it wasn't screwed on" ME

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stories by Students

Here are two stories about stanley's travels in China. They were written by two of my students.

By: Haylin
Flat Stanley went to China during summer vacation. He was very excited about this trip, because he was going to travel to many cities and places. The first stop is Beijing, Tiananmen Square and climbed the Great Wall, and he also spent a whole day in the Summer Palace, he was astonished by the beautiful buildings and the long history of China. On the next day, he went to the Bird Nest, it was a stadium where the 2008 Olympics hold. He bought some souvenirs in the stadium there for his friends. He also watched a soccer game there. Local people brought him to the most famous which is the capital of China. He took pictures in restaurant in Beijing, it was the first time for him to try roast duck, he said he want to open a same "duck restaurant" after he came back to the US, because the oily and crunchy duck skin really impressed him. The next stop is SunZhou, it was a very traditional city in China, there were many Chinese style garden which built hundreds years ago, when he walked in the garden, it felt like he went back to ancient China. On the last day in SunZhou, the local guide gave him a suit of clothes, he told Flat the majority Chinese people wore this kind of clothes long time ago. After that Flat went to Guiling, Kunming, Chengdu and Shanghai, he took a lot of picture and wrote some travel journals, he wanted to publish them so he could introduce China to more American people.

By: Celeste
Flat Stanley is a freedom traveler.
He is from America.
He went to China 1 mouth ago.
He researched some information in Internet.
He interested in Chinese countryside life.
He went to the countryside in Yunnan near PuZheHei.
Lived there ate rice everyday and bed was very hard.
PuZheHei has a very beautiful river.
There are many lotus flowers and he rowed between many plants.
He played in the water with other visitors.
He went many places in the village.
He felt very comfortable and he took many natural pictures.
Had a picture is in the setting sun time sky was orange, mountains stay in distant place the land was green had a farmer work there.

He wants to help farmers to rice transplanting and try the farmer clothes.
In Chinese farmland only can use animals or to do the farm work by hand.

He felt very tired but he thought it was very interesting.

He likes Chinese food very much and he studied how to cook rise and how to make tomatoes stir-fried eggs.
When he leaved that day is festival.
Hold a big ceremony in village.
He danced with other people around the fire.
Many people barbecue some meet.
He took a picture there.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hello Everyone!!
I finally get a chance to blog for myself. We are in HongKong for a few days to get a work visa. That went pretty smoothly. That is about the only thing that did. China Southern flight CZ3452: Your Chicken is poison!!!
I had food poisoning the first full day here and could barely function. Frank finally had pity on me when I fell asleep in the Starbucks and took me back to the friend's house. A friend of a friend lovingly opened her apartment and more importantly for me, her one bathroom. I am deeply grateful. We have our visas and will probably head home tomorrow. I went crazy and ate steak for lunch after not being able to hold water yesterday. Before you yell at me, it was OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE steak, ok? What would YOU have done, uh huh, that's what I thought! I am sitting in the Mcdonalds waiting to see if I made a serious error and watching a lady eat a big mac and fries with chopsticks. We both tried to get pics without her noticing which meant not using flash so the pics are a little blurry but we will post them anyway when we get the chance. This wifi will not let me upload anything. Hope everyone is doing well and thank you so much for keeping up with us. Love you all!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010


In order to get a work visa or a spouse visa you are required to have a physical. It does not matter that you spent good money in your home country to have one done, it must be performed by a certain clinic in the city you are applying to work in. So, Monday, I set off to find this clinic. A 40Y taxi ride later, I discovered the bus that could have saved me 39Y and only added a few extra minutes. How did I find it? The taxi driver kindly told me at the end of the ride, as I was paying, that there was no need to spend 40Y when there was a bus station nearby. Thank You! The building was practically empty. I registered with a copy of my passport, then went to the other side of the room and paid, then back to the first side. Basically, I had a list of tests and they were each in a separate room or on the second floor. I went room to room very quickly and in less than an hour I was out. Here are some of the tests they ran:

ECG: shoes off, expose your ankles, shirt up to expose your heart, lay back and relax. Two sets of what looked very much like jumper cables are clipped on both ankles and both wrists. Little metal suction cups with rubber balls on the top,(sort of like the ones Prince Humperdink had stuck to Wesley to suck his life away, only smaller) are stuck around the heart. I just knew I had been tricked and was about to receive shock therapy. I waited for the jolt that never came and it was all over. Jumper cables hung back on the nail in the wall. A stamp on my paper and next door please.

X-Ray: Fully clothed minus jacket. No shield. The doctor grunted and pointed to a little room. I walked in, put my feet on the footprints, click, done. Another grunt and a stamp. Next door please.

Ultrasound: Yep, ultrasound. A lot of jelly and trouble finding something, my lungs? I promise, they are in there. “Gut in, Gut out, roll over, don’t put your shoes on the bed!” “Stick out your stomach, I can’t find your liver” My liver? She said it had fat on it. Thanks, great self-esteem booster. Even your liver is fat! Clean up with fake paper towels that fall apart in your hand, another stamp. Next door. No please.

Eye test: Hold the wooden spoon over your eye and read the line. How do you read it if you don’t know the character? They use one symbol, basically a large E, turned four directions and you just say up, down, left or right. I passed with flying colors.

Blood test: Pretty basic. Put your arm through the little window in the wall, they stick you, draw what they need then put a q-tip on it and say, “hold it”. What, you couldn’t spring for a band-aid?

Urine Test: They hand you a very small, very flimsy plastic cup with no handle and no lid and point you down the hall to a dirty, wet, Chinese bathroom with three stalls. No toilet paper of course. You know how hard it is to pee in a cup on a western toilet with a seat cover and toilet paper in reach? Imagine squatting four inches from a pure filth hole balancing with one less hand because you have to hold the tiny cup, and somehow reaching the toilet paper in your pocket, all without falling. Yeah, it was like that. Then you just walk the open cup back to the counter and hand it over, then run back and wash your hands. Surprisingly, there was soap.

All in all, it was much better than I was expecting. I had heard horror stories about being forced to walk around in tiny gowns that don’t fit and being poked and prodded while all the other patients looked on. I was so relieved. The results came back yesterday and all is well. I am normal. The whole thing cost me 326Y, about $47. American doctors need to lighten up. Who needs all those clean rooms and lidded urine cups?



As I write this, it has just turned 2010 in America. I was on Skype earlier in a back to the future episode. 2009 there, 2010 here. Strange. Anyway, a new year with new goals and I haven’t even caught you up on the past month. Frank’s health is better, thank goodness. I have been dealing with congestion lately, probably from the increase in pollution in our city due to road and building construction. It is as if the entire city is being torn down and rebuilt before our eyes. One day a building is there, the next day gone and the next day a new one in its place! There is a new apartment complex going up around the corner from us, 40 stories high! The best thing about it is on the ground floor, a large supermarket, Carrefour, which should open sometime this year. There aren’t any very close by except Beelzebub’s Walmart which is only 10min by bike but I hate it, so I am really looking forward to the grand opening. I saved up my money and now I have a real bike!!! Yeah!!! Did I mention I hate riding bikes? MY BUTT HURTS! Frank just rolls his eyes at me because I complained so long about not having a reliable ride and how long it is on the buses and now that I have my bike, I complain about how much it hurts and that I hate it. He hates walking, I can walk anywhere any time. I hate bike riding, he can go all day. We are perfect for each other! I went for a girls day out last week and for the first time, got my nails painted, not like a solid color, I mean painted. Check out the pics. For 10Y or a little over a dollar, they will hand paint flowers on your nails. Mine had nine different layers of color and took almost an hour. So far it has lasted too. I told her, whatever you do, please don’t make it pink, I want dark colors, red or purple. I ended up with big pink flowers with some purple streaks, and GLITTER!!!. What have you done to me????!!! The first few days, I didn’t recognize my own hands! I don’t plan on it becoming a habit but it was nice to be with the girls and spoil myself just a little.