Archive for April, 2009

Tones, Schmones.

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

A friend from home emailed me the other day and asked (in all seriousness) if we were able to have simple conversations in Chinese yet.  I laughed so hard at that question that Diet Coke flew from my nose.  Chinese is hard, people!

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Old Summer Palace.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

I asked P the other day what she most missed about our “regular home,” and she replied, “I miss our couch.  Our regular couch is a lot better than our Chinese couch.  It’s a lot more comufurble.”  She’s right about that.  I then asked her what she likes the most about China, and she replied, “There a lot to see in China.”  She’s right about that, too.  Thanks to all those things to see, we don’t end up spending much time on our subpar Chinese couch.

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Lunch.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Chris and I ate lunch at one of the student dining halls on campus yesterday.  Here’s what we had.  It cost a whopping $1.80.

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Digging to America?

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

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Snow Day.

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Here’s what it looks like outside right now.

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Nitwits’ Day

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

As far as I know, of the hundreds of kids at P’s school, there’s only one other foreign kid.  The other foreigner, Sumei, also happens to be an American, and by a great stroke of luck the two American laowai ended up in the same class.   As Sumei has been here since July, she speaks Chinese fluently, so in addition to being P’s  best friend, she’s also her translator at school.

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Tomb-Sweeping Day.

Monday, April 6th, 2009
I received the following email from one of my students on Saturday morning.

Our Chinese Pad.

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Want to see  where we live?  We’re in faculty housing on the Tsinghua campus.  The location is perfect.  We’re a five minute bike ride from P’s school, which is also on campus, our office, the building where we teach, and the supermarket.  We’re a ten minute bike ride from Wudaokou, which we refer to as our own Times Square.  I’m dying for a haircut and I hear there are several places in Wudaokou where the stylists speak English.  Unfortunately, the word on the street is that most Westerners brave enough to get a haircut in Beijing end up looking like mullet-bearing Korean pop stars.  Maybe I’ll wait…  Here’s the Wudaokou at night.  Clearly, I didn’t take this one – I’m never up late enough to see lights like this.

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While We Are Sleeping…

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I had to give a talk last night and didn’t make it home until almost 9:00.  I realized on my bike ride home that it was the first time I had been outside the apartment at such a late hour (go ahead and laugh at those last five words, childless readers) since our arrival.  Pathetic, isn’t it?  It never occurred to me that there’s actually activity on campus at night.  Check out what I saw just around the corner from our apartment:

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Where, Oh Where Did That Left Kidney Go?

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I’ve mentioned before my love of mom blogs, and according to this article, I’m not alone.  My very favorite blogger, Alexa,  lives here, and though I’ve never met her or so much as commented on her blog, I idolize her.  When my friend Dina and I discovered by chance last summer that we’re both regular readers, it was like finding out we share the same best friend.

Since I’ll never be as brilliant or write as eloquently as Alexa, I decided I could at least rip off her style, so for Christmas, I made Chris order this for me:

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