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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals


CHINA | Tuesday, 10 Jun 2008 | Views [581]

I had a completely boring day.   Class.   We were doing the activities in the book.   For some reason, the last activity was basically explicating “Imagine” by John Lennon.   Chinese people LOVE The Beatles, so I figured they’d enjoy this assignment.... Read more >

Bei Hai Park

CHINA | Monday, 9 Jun 2008 | Views [913]

One of the last things I still hadn’t done in Beijing but desperately wanted to do was Bei Hai Gong Yuan (North Lake Park). I was waiting for pleasant weather, and accompaniment (it’s hard to get motivated to see touristy things without someone ... Read more >

Tags: bei hai park

Dragon Boat Festival

CHINA | Sunday, 8 Jun 2008 | Views [621]

No class tomorrow in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival.  Several different articles on wikipedia yielded no real understanding of why this is celebrated.  However, a day of rest is always appreciated.  The actual festival is today.  In its ultimate ... Read more >

Tags: dragon boat festival

Beijing Film Festival

CHINA | Saturday, 7 Jun 2008 | Views [1053]

Tonight, Mario, Bo, my couch surfer, Frank, and I went to the Beijing Film Festival.  It was much antipated.  It was also interesting that such an event presented itself in a city like Beijing in a country like China.  Most of the films were foreign ... Read more >

And so it begins...

CHINA | Thursday, 5 Jun 2008 | Views [588] | Comments [1]

A morning of packing, drinking coffee, and saying goodbye to one of the best friends I've found in China has me looking leaving straight in the face.  I have less than a month left before I will no longer have to deal with the subway at rush hour.  ... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 5 Jun 2008 | Views [665]

I met her in Dalian.  She had just moved to China.  A 20-year-old with the bright eyes of someone who'd just finished her first year of college.  Incredibly enthusiastic about teaching.  A lover of children.   We became friends instantly.  Many conversations ... Read more >

Three extra bodies

CHINA | Tuesday, 3 Jun 2008 | Views [564]

Tonight.  Three extra people will call my apartment home.  It's entirely circumstantial.  Let me explain.  I agreed to have a couch surfer.  Kari came to Beijing to say goodbye.  One of her friends from high school came to Beijing to see her and say ... Read more >

Summer fever

CHINA | Monday, 2 Jun 2008 | Views [452]

My students are driving me insane right now.  Only a couple of weeks left before finals, and they are definitely ready for summer.  As am I, compounding the situation.  I still can't figure out why, after 10 months of working with them, they can't shut ... Read more >

Iron Man

CHINA | Saturday, 31 May 2008 | Views [452]

I'd never been to a proper movie in China.  It costs three times as much as a DVD off the street.  The movies don't come out until months after they've been released in the States (often after you can buy it on DVD).  There's a pretty good chance they've ... Read more >

Crawfish, crabs, and shrimp

CHINA | Friday, 30 May 2008 | Views [704]

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 [433]

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 [566] | 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 [470]

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 [383]

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 [1346]

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 [778]

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 [404]

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 [374]

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 [394]

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 [417]

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 [512]

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 [1432]

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 [663] | 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 [423]

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 [443]

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 >

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