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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Trip: Year in China

There are [154] stories from my trip: Year in China

Crawfish, crabs, and shrimp

CHINA | Friday, 30 May 2008 | Views [800]

Almost a year ago, my mom sent me a package for my birthday.  It was a box of Tony's, a couple of boxes of instant Zatarain's, and some crab boil.  It's well-known that China steals a lot of the market for crawfish in Louisiana, so my mom assumed I'd ... Read more >


CHINA | Wednesday, 28 May 2008 | Views [483]

Mario and I decided that we needed an excuse to stop watching movies and go see more of this city.  The plan: meet at a subway between our apartments and explore the Muslim area of the city.  It's called Xuanwu.  It has a mosque, Chinese food cooked ... Read more >


CHINA | Tuesday, 27 May 2008 | Views [618] | Comments [1]

I wore it today.  For the first time even, I wore the slightest bit of make up to class.  I also wore my glasses.  I was feeling feisty, I guess. My first class used to be my favorite.  Class 2.  Lots of good English-speakers.  A few funny students.... Read more >

University life

CHINA | Monday, 26 May 2008 | Views [527]

I had another planning session with Kiri today.  This time, I cooked.  I decided that since this was probably our last planning session, I'd pay her back for all her hospitality and good meals throughout the semester.  I made lettuce wraps (I got the ... Read more >

Another leisurely weekend

CHINA | Sunday, 25 May 2008 | Views [439]

I slept in on Saturday and Sunday.  I planned classes, played on the internet, washed clothes, watched movies.   I met friends for coffee, grocery shopped, and watched "Friends" dvds.  I've also got a pile of clothes, knick-knacks, and other ... Read more >

Coach bags and silk wallets

CHINA | Friday, 23 May 2008 | Views [1399]

I had plans to meet Mario and Ilan at a clothing market after class, but I fell asleep and they had already left.  I went anyway because for the past six months or so I've been trying to get there to buy my aunt a fake Coach bag and my mom ten of these ... Read more >

God of sex

CHINA | Thursday, 22 May 2008 | Views [857]

I gave my students a group project.  They got into their groups, and I just kind of wandered around checking their work and answering their questions.  I let them choose their groups.  Chinese have a weird phobia of the opposite sex, so almost all ... Read more >

A rose is a rose is a rose

CHINA | Wednesday, 21 May 2008 | Views [457]

Gertrude Stein wrote it, and I doubt she was talking about Beijing, but it applies. Because the city is absolutely covered Rose Parade style with the thorny, sweet-smelling flora. The flowers are planted everywhere and of all colors. Along the ... Read more >

Three days of mourning

CHINA | Tuesday, 20 May 2008 | Views [428]

The flags are out again, this time at half staff. The Chinese government declared three days of mourning for the victims of the Sichuan Earthquake disaster. There are Big Character signs (these are signs posted around China usually in red and white ... Read more >


CHINA | Monday, 19 May 2008 | Views [448]

I spent this weekend in Sha'anxi Province with my friend Kari.  She lives in a small town called Xianyang, which is about 20 minutes and a Y3.50 train ride from Xi'An.  Xi'An is famous.  I left Thursday night (after rearranging my Friday classes to ... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 15 May 2008 | Views [473]

This week in my culture classes, we're discussing New Zealand.  As I know absolutely nothing about this seemingly marvelous chain of three islands, I was very glad when Kiri told me she had a video about New Zealand that she wanted to show.  I didn't ... Read more >

Alleviating some stress

CHINA | Tuesday, 13 May 2008 | Views [561]

Thanks, everyone for all the concern.  I really appreciate the emails and worried facebook messages.  All is fine in Beijing.  Apparently, there were aftershocks felt here, but I was sleeping (of all things) and didn't feel a thing.   I have a friend ... Read more >

Under construction

CHINA | Monday, 12 May 2008 | Views [1487]

If I knew how to say/read that in Chinese, I'm pretty sure I would see that phrase everywhere.  Most of the city is currently under construction.  Or renovation.  Or refurbishment.  Or somehow covered with scafolding and green netting.  Attempting to ... Read more >

The freakin' weekend?

CHINA | Sunday, 11 May 2008 | Views [716] | Comments [1]

A pretty unsubstantial weekend as the course of events go.  After my couch surfer left on Saturday morning, I'd be hard pressed to find anything significant that happened in my life.  I slept nearly all day Saturday (I woke up at 8 am to say goodbye ... Read more >


CHINA | Saturday, 10 May 2008 | Views [476]

There is no pretty way to say that word.  Even with the most charming of accents, that word comes out with the ferocity of a vagina with teeth (has anyone seen that movie?  I recently found it in a DVD store and laughed heartily for about 10 minutes).... Read more >


CHINA | Wednesday, 7 May 2008 | Views [497]

I finally succeeded in purchasing train tickets that were almost exaclty what I wanted!   The guy at the ticket counter spoke English, but it probably would have been more successful had I spoken Chinese with him; his English was pretty bad.  He first ... Read more >

I have nothing to say about today.

CHINA | Tuesday, 6 May 2008 | Views [521]

But I did have an interesting thought while I was napping.  I'll see if I can work out what it was here. Something about words and the way we use them.  Something about accents and how strange they are.  Something about how some words and phrases can ... Read more >

I paid my water bill today

CHINA | Monday, 5 May 2008 | Views [616]

A bit of a mundane thing to write about, but as it almost had me in tears, I thought it waranted some air time.  Paying a bill is not a complicated task.  But living in a world where I continually prove and then disprove my ability to speak the language, ... Read more >

A lazy Sunday

CHINA | Sunday, 4 May 2008 | Views [440]

I wish I had an awesome rap a la SNL's digital short about such a day, but unfortunately, my writing abilities do not extend to poetry over a beat. Little to say about today. I fell asleep on the couch last night (no one to occupy it, so I took ... Read more >

Gallery: Jimingyi

CHINA | Sunday, 4 May 2008 | Photo Gallery

May holiday trip with Hagen
See all 21 photos >>


CHINA | Saturday, 3 May 2008 | Views [522]

I spent the day recovering. Even though I didn't get much sleep, I "woke up" slightly hung over from the festivities of Hagen's last night. I put on a movie and slept nearly all day. Around dinner time, the phone calls started coming.... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 1 May 2008 | Views [530]

New day. New holiday. The Chinese flags are back up outside every building in China. And the nationalism continues to seeth during this national holiday. Yesterday, I was walking across the obscure footbridge near my apartment to catch the bus.... Read more >


CHINA | Tuesday, 29 Apr 2008 | Views [597]

China officially (it has the Olympic rings on it and everything) hate France.   I'm not quite sure why the hate is just restricted to the country that serves amazing wine and cheese. Today, the assignment in class went something like this: "... Read more >

Gallery: Summer Palace

CHINA | Monday, 28 Apr 2008 | Photo Gallery

Yiheyuan with Case and Hagen
See all 7 photos >>

Yihe Yuan

CHINA | Monday, 28 Apr 2008 | Views [432]

Summer Palace. Today. Another tourist attraction. Another relatively small area of space crammed with photograph seeking tourists. Almost more white people than Chinese. It was kind of a disappointment. Overcast and polluted, the vista was not ... Read more >

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