Category Health & Safety

Sunbathe Blankets

One of the chores that Chinese  tend to do during their spring cleaning is to “Shai Bei Zi” (晒被子), which literally means to “Sunbathe Blankets” or hang them out in the sun.  The purpose is to kill germs and warm them. When Tian’s mom was here in March she took charge of that chore while […]

A Grain of Salt

Amid a swirl of rumors regarding the natural and nuclear disasters in Japan, the saying “take it with a grain of salt” has taken on special meaning in China. On Thursday, we ran out of normal cooking salt.  Tian went to the store that afternoon and found to her surprise that it had been sold […]

Rumor Has It

As is often the case after disasters in China, rumors have been circulating after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan for the past week or so.  Most of them have to do with the increasingly dire nuclear crisis and the impending problems the radiation will cause in China.  This one, which claimed to be from […]

Life Takes Visas #4

At the end of January, we received the good news that Tian had been scheduled for an interview in Guangzhou in early March.  That meant we had a deadline for getting all of the documents together. One of our assignments was for Tian to get a medical checkup at an approved official clinic.  So in […]

Mike's Toast

After my dad and brother Dan gave their toasts, we encouraged Mike to get up on stage and say a few words.  And he did!  Mike had been studying some basic Chinese and decided that he would say a quick welcome to Tian and her family and then just have some fun telling them all […]


One of the attributes I most respect about Chinese people is that on an individual level, most of them have an intense “get the job done” attitude.  They work hard and are not afraid to take responsibility for completing day-to-day tasks that will improve their life no matter how unglamorous they are. To a certain […]

Many Hands Make…

…Hard Work.  It is fairly common in China to happen across a small army of people employed in very tedious and/or physically difficult work.  Often times, there is a disproportionate number of older people in this group. While in the US and many other western nations, these tasks have usually been automated, China still uses […]