Category In The Market For…

Let's Talk About My Baggage…

Tian started telling me in June, right as she was packing to come back to China, that I needed to get some better and bigger suitcases.  Naw, I thought.  I would just use my old hiking backpack and a duffel bag.  Nice luggage was sort of a sign of snobbery; the real hard core travelers […]

Best Buy = Best Bud

Before this spring, I probably had been to Best Buy only a handful of times in the last two years. That’s why it was a big surprise to me when, as I prepared for my trip, I suddenly couldn’t do without it. Here are some of the reasons that Best Buy became my Best Bud: […]

Apartment Hunt – Success!

Tian found an apartment for us!  We are excited about it for a bunch of reasons:      – 10 minutes to work by bus      – 2 blocks to subway station      – Bustling neighborhood called “Wudaokou”      – Easy access to restaurants and shopping      – 2 bedrooms      – Furnished with basics      – […]

No Turning Back – Plane Ticket Bought

Ok, so maybe there was no turning back after we hired the next Executive Director of Breakthrough Saint Paul. But really though, nothing seems more final than buying the plane ticket! Plus, it’s the first time I’ve ever bought a one-way ticket. Now that’s a weird feeling. While it may seem strange, this is a […]

Visa Application

Great news. Yesterday I got all the documents I needed to apply for a visa. I had been waiting on an invitation letter (visa notification) and a foreign experts license (work permit) from Tsinghua University – the last things I needed to get for my application. Here’s the full list: Passport Application Form Declaration Form […]

Apartment Hunt: Search Refined

We just made the decision to stop looking for an apartment right by our schools. Tian found that there were not a lot of available apartments. Plus there really wasn’t as much commercial activity (i.e. shops, restaurants) in that neighborhood, and it was farther away from the subway station. We have made the choice to […]

Apartment Hunt: Setting Priorities

Tian and I have done a lot of talking about our apartment preferences.  Doing so has helped her focus her search efforts.  The biggest questions for us have been… What neighborhood? How many bedrooms? What price range? NEIGHBORHOOD To answer the “what neighborhood” question, Tian first had to help me get acquainted with the geography […]