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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Gallery: Tomb Sweeping Festival

CHINA | Friday, 4 Apr 2008 | Photo Gallery

Cheng De, He Bei
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I tried really hard

CHINA | Thursday, 3 Apr 2008 | Views [396]

I did.  I wanted it to happen.  But the fates were against me today. No matter what I did, I couldn't get out of class early.  I just kept talking and explaining.  I just kept asking questions and getting blanks stares and occasional laughs.  I just ... Read more >

This is China

CHINA | Wednesday, 2 Apr 2008 | Views [510] | Comments [1]

That's kind of the mantra of expats living in this country. When something seems ridiculous or doesn't go as you expect it, the only reason that ever crosses anyone's mind is "This is China." Friends have actually shortened it to T.I.C.... Read more >

Tags: culture


CHINA | Monday, 31 Mar 2008 | Views [422]

I found out today that I have Friday off (one of the national holidays)! So I'm plotting, not planning a voyage out of the city. Where to go? What to see? Maybe a warmer climate? Maybe new delicacies to delight my palate? Maybe a coastal area ... Read more >

Tags: planning


CHINA | Sunday, 30 Mar 2008 | Views [517] | Comments [1]

About six months ago, I mentioned that there are laws regarding the heat and air conditioning availability in China. Basically, it reads: Those who live above a certain point can have heat from November 15 to March 15. Those who live below this point ... Read more >

Tags: culture, weather


CHINA | Thursday, 27 Mar 2008 | Views [529] | Comments [1]

Whitening products are popular all over the world. Teeth, hair, skin. Everyone wants something to be brighter than it naturally is. In Asia, they want to be a pale as humanly possible. They have products (from Western companies) screaming "... Read more >

Tags: culture

Train wreck

CHINA | Wednesday, 26 Mar 2008 | Views [577] | Comments [1]

This morning class was a disaster. A full on rocket ship explosion during the countdown. With a woman, a monkey, and a child on board. And like a years supply of tomatoes that just wouldn't burn. Awful. I will be the first to admit that my knowledge ... Read more >

Tags: work

A football (soccer) team

CHINA | Tuesday, 25 Mar 2008 | Views [620] | Comments [1]

The other day the class assignment was to think about ambitions. Then, tell your partner about your ambitions. Then, tell the class your most interesting ambition. "I want to travel the world." "I want to become a business woman."... Read more >

Tags: culture, students

So much candy

CHINA | Monday, 24 Mar 2008 | Views [524]

I have officially spent more time planning for my classes this semester than I did all last semester. And I'm only three weeks in. I just had lunch with another teacher, Kiri. She's also teaching the culture class, so we're working together to plan ... Read more >

Tags: colleagues, work


CHINA | Sunday, 23 Mar 2008 | Views [922] | Comments [3]

Chinese fashion is a lot to take in.  When I first arrived, I saw so many bright purple and gold Dolce and Gabana shirts on men, that I thought either the town had painted itself in my alma maters colors in expectation of my arrival or that Western fashion ... Read more >

Tags: culture, fashion

It's hard to ignore

CHINA | Friday, 21 Mar 2008 | Views [472]

Things are going down here. History is happening. And I'm here to sort of witness it and try to read about it from foreign newspapers on the internet. I don't really know what to say about it. It's crazy. Luckily, nothing much is happening in Beijing.... Read more >

Tags: culture, current events

I'm still sick

CHINA | Wednesday, 19 Mar 2008 | Views [493] | Comments [2]

It's getting ridiculous.  But I'm still sick.  I returned from Beijing on February...something I don't know the end of February.  And within two days, the noxious air had me with mucus filled lungs.  Now, about three weeks later, I'm still coughing.... Read more >

Tags: sick

This is your mind on university

CHINA | Tuesday, 18 Mar 2008 | Views [638] | Comments [2]

My university experience took my mind and inflated it with a bicycle pump.  Then, it turned it inside out, poured acid on it to make it melt, and blended it to a pulp.  Then, it poured it into a mold, slightly different from the previous mold, and baked ... Read more >

Tags: culture, students, work

Parent-teacher conference

CHINA | Sunday, 16 Mar 2008 | Views [978] | Comments [1]

Today I had lunch with Kevin and his parents. They brought me to a very nice Sichuan restaurant in Beijing They picked me up this morning at 10:30 am. I thought it was a little early for lunch, but just went along assuming it was a tradition that ... Read more >

Tags: family, food, friends, students

Gallery: Parent-teacher conference

CHINA | Sunday, 16 Mar 2008 | Photo Gallery

Lunch with Kevin and his parents
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Pig brains

CHINA | Wednesday, 12 Mar 2008 | Views [1780] | Comments [1]

While this title could be a reference to anything...it is in fact a reference to the cerebral matter of the animal that is the patron of my Chinese zodiac year. In my rush to recount my Spring Festival travels, I forgot to mention it. I forgot to ... Read more >

Tags: food

Twin Peaks

CHINA | Tuesday, 11 Mar 2008 | Views [1140]

Ok. So when I was young, I used to watch this show at night that I didn't really understand. Mostly, I liked the shots of this cafe with neon lights. It kind of creeped me out, but I remember feeling like an adult when I watched it. I've tried ... Read more >

Tags: Relaxation

One thing

CHINA | Monday, 10 Mar 2008 | Views [642]

Alright.  One thing I sort of hate is when people I don't know or just met say, "You should see/do/eat/read/think that.  You'd like it." It bothers me.  Mostly because these people rarely know me well enough to judge whether or not I'd like ... Read more >

Tags: Travel Tips

BR v. BJ

CHINA | Sunday, 9 Mar 2008 | Views [572] | Comments [1]

I moved to Baton Rouge, La. to attend college when I was 18 years old.  I knew people who were attending this university as well, but I opted out of old friendships and forged new ones.  I sort of kept in touch with people I had known, but in general, ... Read more >

Tags: Friends

A comparison

CHINA | Friday, 7 Mar 2008 | Views [476]

Here we go.  The official, written comparison of Chinese people versus American people.   Chinese people are infuriatingly simple.  The most maddening example of their lack of complexity is riding public transportation.  Any visitor to China is amazed ... Read more >

Tags: Adventures

Welcome to the neighborhood

CHINA | Tuesday, 4 Mar 2008 | Views [494]

Ilan has officially moved in in Beijing.  And he lives closer to me than any of my other friends.  I feel it safe to say that I have a neighbor.  He's only an hour away.  That's right.  An hour.  He lives on my side of town (the Chaoyang District).  ... Read more >

Tags: Friends


CHINA | Monday, 3 Mar 2008 | Views [551]

I've been accused of being an over-planner.  I kept a planner from high school throughout university.  I wrote EVERYTHING in it.  It was almost like a journal.  I kept all of my planners and am able to look by and see exactly when I went somewhere or ... Read more >

Tags: Work


CHINA | Sunday, 24 Feb 2008 | Views [564] | Comments [1]

Not my favorite number.  But significant right now.   I've been in China seven months now.  I've collected about 70 DVDs.  I've read about 7,000 books (in English).  And my Chinese cell number has three 7's in it. Time is flying.  And, yes, I'm still ... Read more >

Tags: Relaxation

Gallery: Beijing

CHINA | Sunday, 24 Feb 2008 | Photo Gallery

Life in the City
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Chinese names, Native American names, Hippy names

CHINA | Saturday, 23 Feb 2008 | Views [3645] | Comments [1]

When I'm prompted to give a Chinese person an English name, they always want to know what it means. What it means, you may ask? Yep, what it means. Do English names have meaning? Rarely. In my case, the name Lea doesn't necessarily mean anything.... Read more >

Tags: Culture

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