Sunday, December 13, 2009


I lived in China for 6 months.
I can beat you up with my super sweet Kung Fu skills.
I make some pretty tasty sweet and sour chicken.
I will beat you at ping pong.
I do not look like my light featured siblings.
But contrary to popular belief, I am not Asian.
I was not adopted, my mom did not get friendly with the milk man, and my genealogy traces all back to Europe.
Just thought I would clear that up. Sank you!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I promise I was a better teacher than this!

They were just so stinkin' cute when they were naughty!
I miss them. I like them WAY better than the paper I'm procrastinating writing tonight.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Children's Day in May

In the words of Kate...

The month of May was spent in a frenzy of canceled classes and song practices in preparation for capital C, capital D Children's Day.

I spent this time warbling the Hello song and vainly trying to bribe two-year-olds into singing with me. (Luckily the babies were cut from the program.) Meanwhile, the Chinese teachers labored to bring about a full-scale song and dance production, the cuteness of which was unreal.

But despite having quit childhood years ago, I was not exempt from this exhibition. For weeks we spent our afternoons in the dance room, nervously sweating on the not-yet-buckling hardwood as the ordinarily sweet Lulu turned into a dance Nazi ("YI er san si wu LIU QI ba!").

We did our best to follow her contemporary fast-paced creation, but our only directions were in rapid-fire dance-teacher Chinese. All I can say is, I am so very grateful for my back row placement. Just put me behind Teacher Iki and everything is fine. Thank you.

The final product featured belly shirts, streamers, and some very fierce running. Twas epic.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Goodbye China!

I don’t miss:

  • China’s government blocking blogger, youtube, and occasionally gmail.
  • My rock hard bed.
  • Falling asleep to the sound of firecrackers for a whole month straight.
  • Falling asleep to the sound of frogs when the firecrackers stopped. 
  • Crusty, half clean clothes from the lack of a decent washer and no dryer.
  • Rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Being treated to dinner and being forced to eat strange things until I am beyond full.
  • Chicken legs, unidentified seafood, pigs blood, tofu, seaweed, shrimp brain, pickled turnip, frog, cow stomach, mystery Chinese meatloaf which we termed “Barf bars”, and bugs in my what the Chinese say "weggitables".
  • Being grossed out at meat markets when live dogs were on the table with the meat then realizing that the poor dog was the meat.
  • Ginger
  • Having friends treating me to a full McDonald’s meal as an afternoon snack and expecting me to eat it all.
  • Public slurping, burping, loogie hucking, and nose picking.
  •  Classy looking toilet paper rolls on tables at every local restaurant.
  • Durian (garbage fruit) smelling grocery stores.
  • Holes in the ground that are supposed to be toilets.
  • Men ranging from ages 2 – 85 peeing on the side of the road.
  • Men’s pinky fingernails that are over an inch long.
  • Man purses.
  • Weak sauce handshakes.
  • Chinese drivers.
  • No traffic regulations.
  • Feeling lucky to fit into Chinese size XXL.
  • The hot and sticky 30 minute walk from the school to the bus stop.
  • Sleeper buses.
  • Chinese opera.
  • Ridiculous swine flu precautions.

But I do miss:

  • Strangers randomly asking for my email address and for a picture with them.
  • Being treated to dinner by friends at least once a week, even though the food was scary.
  • Christmas music blasting in all months of the year.
  • Seeing a family of four on a motorcycle and thinking that there was probably room for two more.
  • Street sweepers who swept even when it’s pouring outside.
  • $.07 amazingly good dumplings by the bus stop.
  • Thinking that a $6 shirt is a rip off.
  • Cheap DVD stores
  • Cheap bakeries and our school cook’s pineapple bread.
  • $5 hour-long foot massages, $2.50 pedicures, and $2.50 hair washes.
  • Getting so used to cheap Chinese prices that I would get on someone who owed me 2 yuan, which converts to $.28.
  • People introducing themselves with interesting English names such as Tiger, Denial, Yoyo, Rain, Snow, and Linthy.
  • Our neighborhood badminton man, morning Tai Chi group, the cute old man who hits himself for exercise, and the “Ni Hao/hello” girl.
  • Cute old people line dancing and hanging out in parks with crazy cool outfits.
  • The ways we entertained ourselves on the 30 minute, hot and sticky walk to the bus stop such as the discussion of the different methods of time travel, the connecting celebrities game, and long conversations about ice cream and other Western Food.
  • The 30 minute bus commute to school where I listened to books on tape and podcasts.
  • Nerts and Chinese Checkers.
  • English interpretations on signs.
"Do not disturb - tiny grass is dreaming"

  • Getting four day vacations once a month.
  • Parasailing on the coast of Southern China.
  • Bargain shopping and knock-off everything.
  • Riding scooters in the pouring rain with my mom in the most beautiful place in the world.
  • Riding bikes in Xian and being blown away by the Terracotta Warriors.
  • Hiking the Great Wall of China.
  • The city lights in Hong Kong
  • Zoos with no animal rights laws.
  • Spur of the moment outings with Chinese friends; having no clue what we are going to do and no way of finding out.
  • Chinese Karaoke 
  • The Children’s Day performance and all of our crazy ridiculous practicing for it.
  • Kung Fu lessons with Spring and Josh.
  • Chinese lessons with Candy and Tina.
  • Cooking lessons with Daniel and Michael.
  • Chinese nights with the Chinese teachers at our school.
  • My Chinese family, Brian, Jenny, and Tao Tao.

And mostly, I miss my kids.

Their smiles and giggles, their voices, their little attitudes, their high fives, their hugs and kisses, and their unconditional love. 

It's been an incredible 6 months.