Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sofa Away

Readers may remember our excitement last summer when we found an awesome couch for our apartment to replace the old and uncomfortable one.  When we bought it, we anticipated that the apartment owner would love it as much as we did and just let us keep it there. Unfortunately, the owner wanted nothing to do […]

S-s-special Delivery

At the end of May, our shipment of 1000 Snake Oil games arrived in Minneapolis at my parents’ garage.  The total trip from Beijing to Minneapolis involved truck, sea, and rail transport, and it took about two months. Griffin Logistics oversaw the arrangements, and we were very happy with their service.  They took care of […]

Wedding Guests

This weekend, Tian and I had the honor of attending her cousin’s wedding in Beijing.  Tian’s relationship to Mao Mao is actually a little bit more complicated than cousin, as Mao Mao is Tian’s grandmother’s older sister’s granddaughter, but cousin works just fine for simplicity’s sake.  It was a pleasure to help them celebrate and […]

Life Takes Visas

Until recently, Tian and I have been hesitant to post anything on the blog about our plans to return to the US this summer.  The main reason has been that we haven’t wanted the news to get to her school until near the end of the year, since course assignments and pay details can be […]

Google Boondoggle

Internet restrictions have always been one of my biggest gripes about living in China.  Since we arrived, I haven’t been able to use You Tube or Facebook, and it is impossible to access any blogs at services like Blogspot or WordPress. But all of that has been tolerable given that they haven’t messed with gmail […]

Work It Out

In summer 2010, as we were busy with wedding planning, the Academic Bridge Program underwent a major transition in leadership. Long story short, two similar programs under the Tsinghua umbrella started the long and laborious process of merging.  The process has made for an ambiguous and uncertain year in 2010-2011, but overall things have worked […]


Anyone who has learned a foreign language knows the uncomfortable situation of knowing how to ask a basic question but not really having the language or cultural skills to understand the response.  For me, no other question has been as troubling in this regard here as, “Where are you from?”  Unless the answer was Beijing, […]