Last weekend, a fellow expat friend in Beijing took us around town for some Western-Style breakfast and a tour of the Sanlitun (NE of the city-center with lots of foreigners) region of the city. After a peanut butter and banana french toast breakfast, we wandered around and he showed us some of the best places to eat and drink in Beijing. Another highlight was the brief visit to a major market in the city… a five-story paradise for finding cheap knockoffs that in most cases look nothing like…

I started working in the Beijing office last week and had lunch with a local woman who works there with me. Being only on my fourth day in China, I was excited to meet and spend time with a Beijinger and to share a nice meal with someone my age. I also saw this as a great opportunity to ask her some very important questions, such as “on what occasion should I wear a traditional Chinese silk dress? (A: weddings and formal parties)” and “is there really a…

@HoustonTrash, Director Harry J. Hayes, Mayor @anniseparker, @spanjian, and @texasdowe: Here is an idea for cost effective replacement of the entire Houston Solid Waste Management fleet. Houston can have recycling for all!    

“We moved to China!” If you were to build a word cloud for all our conversations, the most frequent statement you’d hear and see in that word cloud would be, “We moved to China.” Other there are little modifiers: Oh my god… (i.e.,“OMG, we moved to China!”), Holy cow,  Oh geez…, Thank god…, etc. There is a different paraphrasing for each of the emotional high, lows, sideways, and everything in between. Just an hour ago Emily said, “We’re in Beijing.” (Like, “woah we took the red pill”, no…

We knew months ago that moving to China would be a life-changer.  I’m not sure we knew what we were really getting ourselves into! After 9 days in Beijing, I’ve learned a few important things.  This is, of course, not everything.  We’ll expand on some of these later too, but I wanted to share some highlights. I’ll list them out, because that’s easier: I know very little useful Mandarin.  What I do know is almost useless, also.  Apparently the tonal language thing is simple in theory, but difficult…