Monthly Archives: February 2010

THIS Feels Better…

Sunday marks the official end of the Spring Festival in China, and everyone will be back to work tomorrow.  I’m especially excited because many of my normal street vendors should be back too.  Oh how I have missed them. For Tian, the new semester at Tsinghua International School (THIS) brings an exciting change of pace.  […]

Where There's Smoke, There's…FIREWORKS!

It’s widely known that the Chinese invented fireworks about 2000 years ago.  But the big secret (at least it was to me) is that they also really know how to use them! During the Chinese New Year, fireworks are the rage.  There are practically no limits on them.  Anybody (young or old, veteran or novice, lefty […]

Schooled on Vacation

When I came to China the first time in 2005, my friend introduced me to a couple Chinese games including Ma Jiang and Chinese Chess.  I learned the basics then and even brought a couple of the games back home to play with my family.  Because of my past experience, I was feeling relatively confident […]

Awfully Chocolate

Using English in brand names is common in China because it often conveys to the domestic Chinese market a sense of quality that is still associated with western products here.  The funny thing is that the English chosen for brands or commercials sometimes will have mistakes or even carry negative undertones.  The store “Awfully Chocolate”, which […]

We Go Wei Wei Back

Some of you may remember Wei Wei from the fall of 2008-09 at Mounds Park Academy.  He came as an intern to the Chinese program and worked with Tian in her classroom.  Well last May, Wei Wei finished up his studies at a performing arts university in Beijing, and he is now working here as […]

Zěn Me Shuō “Weirdo”?

Winter can get a little long, especially holed up in our humble apartment.  It can sometimes make you a little crazy.  For me, I occasionally will start to act like a 5 year old when I eat a special snack called “Dan Juan,” which is a Chinese cookie made and sold fresh in small shops […]

If You're Sick, Go to the Hospital

My dad often joked with my brothers and I as kids by saying “If you’re sick, go to the hospital” whenever we farted.  If only it were that easy here.  In China, we learned that it can be a lot easier to tell someone who is sick to go to the hospital than to actually […]