I’ve been considering this post for a while, but given the content I’ve held off. However I realize that there are certain things that unite all of humanity in weird ways and using a toilet is one of them. It’s also a place I’ve noticed some of the biggest cultural differences over the last six months. Odd, I know. Though I think it’s worth sharing. Firstly, the potties may be squatty, but at least you generally have privacy. Though you have to squat over a porcelain hole in the…

The greatest attraction about moving to China for me was to experience a different culture and learn a new language. I wondered if by living in China this year, I would be able to learn enough to do things like talk to Chinese friends at work, have a job where I interact with Chinese organizations, or to simply order Chinese food back in the United States using Chinese. Would I be able to walk into the local Chinese restaurant and say: Hello sir. I would like to order the…

While I’m away at the office all day, Bruce has been keeping himself busy by learning how to speak, read, and write Mandarin (that’s his homework above – he wrote it all!). Understandably, Mandarin has a fairly steep learning curve in the beginning with learning characters and speaking in syllables rather than letters and words. He’s committed to several private tutoring classes each week in addition to taking a five-days-a-week course at Sichuan University. One of the major benefits of the immersion into Chinese culture is that we…

I know, the label even says “Zucchini”.  But they’re not. These are cucumbers. I’ve done this twice now- TWICE I’ve bought cucumbers, thinking they were zucchini.  Oh, the trials and tribulations of living in a foreign country. The first time was when we were having some work colleagues over for dinner.  They are Chinese and I was trying to bust out my wicked kitchen skillz moves with the goal of cooking Chinese food for our new Chinese friends.  Luckily, I own the Chinese cookbook equivalent of the Julia…