Category Zěn Me Shuō

"Mei Banfa. Chi Ku."

The first lessons in Chinese travel that Mike learned were that things often don’t go as planned, that there often is no way to fix a situation, and that in such circumstances you just need to endure whatever is happening and get through it.  Those lessons are summed up in two short but powerful Chinese […]

Zai Jian Gong Zuo

On Tuesday 6/7, I officially carried out my last work responsibilities in China!  I had to give a placement interview at Tsinghua for an incoming student.  With no closing ceremony like normal, it was an anti-climactic end to the year.  Nonetheless it felt great to be done! Over the course of my two years in […]


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, […]

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 […]

Character Development

This week I passed a big milestone in my studying of Chinese.  I now “know” over 1,000 Chinese characters – 1,182 to be exact.  While I am not quite on pace to meet my goal of 2,000 by August 31, 2010 (which I set in September 2009), I should get close. Before you get too […]

Fragrant & Hot Marxism

If that phrase doesn’t get your mouth watering then I don’t know what will.  Recently, this restaurant in Shanghai has been made “famous” for this slogan by the New York Times, when the paper ran a story about the hilarity (and awkwardness) of Chinglish signs in Shanghai as part of its Expo. Given my past […]

Zěn Me Shuō “Nuptials"?

While some of you already know about our wedding plans and the wedding website we’ve put together, we also want to post it here to spread the word more broadly.  The site was a lot of fun to build, and we hope it helps give you a sense of how we are celebrating. Here is […]