China: The Finale

Final exams are finished. We officially completed the CET program. Our language pledge is over. The two months of intensive classes are finally done. I’m en route to Pensacola, FL for vacation with my family. But this ending is much less climactic than what I had always imagined. On the days I spent cooped in…

China: Marriage & Art in Shanghai

Since I’m stressing about final exams next week and don’t have a lot of time or energy to write – I just edited an article I wrote last summer in Shanghai that I never published anywhere; hope you enjoy!  Emerging from the chaos of the Saturday afternoon Shanghai subway traffic, my classmate, Hope, and I loosened…

China: Culture of “Mianzi”

As final exams creep up, I’ve been spending most of my time working on my final 2,000-character paper about the Mosuo ethnic minority group. Besides going to classes, going out to eat, visiting a couple museums and getting a massage, I’ve spent this entire past week in my dorm studying. I’ve also been thinking a…

China: Empty & Full

Random Chinese people walking down the street gathered in the front courtyard of our hotel to watch my classmates and I as we danced to a rendition of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” Considering that we were in the relatively rural county of Jidong – home to Fenghuangshan (Phoenix mountain) – I wouldn’t be surprised if…

China: 自相矛盾 & the “Eastern Moscow”

  334 BCE: “My shields are so sturdy, nothing can pierce them!” a street vendor yelled amid the chaos of a marketplace in the state of Chu. After the unexpected conquest of Yue, everyone in Dangyang was in high spirits – especially the vendor; he knew he was going to make a pretty penny from all…

Why I’m learning Chinese

On my first leg of the journey from Cleveland, Ohio to Harbin, China, I sat next to a man from Brooklyn who would not stop complaining about everything: the minor delay in take-off, the noise the plane engine made, how much he hated flying, the disrespectful people in New York City, etc., etc. “I actually…

SYD ➳ HKG

Since I last posted, I’ve left Australia and I’m now in Hong Kong for my “autumn” break! As I flew into Hong Kong it was just before the sunset, so I had an amazing view of the city as I landed. I almost felt as if we were going to land in the Harbor and…