Confessions of a Chinese School Dropout

– I was enrolled in formal Chinese studies at a university here in Dalian for one year. And today I realized that one year was just not enough. Let me explain why. I’ve been living in China for 4+ years, and picking up Mandarin bit by bit over that time. Practical Mandarin. First it was the … Read More »

Perfume: The Story of an Elevator

– Elevators are fun. I remember as a kid whenever my dad and me would ride in a crowded elevator, he’d shatter the uneasy elevator silence by loudly exclaiming “See Rick, did you ever notice that nobody talks in elevators?” I never realized how fun elevators could be until I came to China. Having studied mandarin … Read More »

In Search of Musical Cheesecake

– Rachel and Kendra‘s recent music posts got me to thinking about the music I’ve been listening to these days. I have to admit that my iPod’s playlist looks WAY dated: some Metric, Rufus Wainwright, REM, and the rest is filled with japanesepod lessons (and that’s another story). So my question to all you other laowai … Read More »

Shanghai Expats: Pay yo’ Bills Online

– It’s times like these that I wish I didn’t live in this backwater hole in Dalian… Actually, I’m sure there’s a way to pay your bills online up here too, but likely just not in English yet. Anyway, all you guys in Shanghai, consider yourself lucky – SHFFT has just created an online bills payment … Read More »

The Ultimate Laowai: The Walking Dutchman

– Back in June, I posted about The Walking Dutchman, Jans Vroomans. This dude is pretty hardcore. He set out last year, on October 14 (2006), from the Netherlands. His intention was to walk all the way to China, passing through the Ukraine, Russia, and Kazachstan. Ambitious hey? And here I find it hard to walk … Read More »

Air China Pilot can’t Speak English. Wow!

– As a follow up to my brother’s god-awful experience with Air China, here’s a crazy recording of a Air China pilot who just can’t speak English at the mandatory level. Pretty disgraceful… Read More »

What gives you the Right?

– It’s a question that every expat faces when visiting another country. Do you or do you not have a right to comment, complain, or question the politics of your host country? There is no shortage of such commentary in the Chinese blogosphere, and many foreigners in China (and I’m by no means an exception) turn … Read More »

12 Days in China. I think?

– As previously mentioned elsewhere, my brother was here in China for about a two week span. I live in Dalian, so we chose to spend the bulk of the time here. I’m not particularly fond of Beijing, but seeing as how one of the only things my brother knows about China and/or it’s culture is … Read More »

Listen to Chinesepod from your Facebook account

– I can’t deny that I’ve been using Facebook far more any normal person should. It’s like, if hotmail and crack were to somehow have sex and reproduce, the result would surely be something like Facebook. That said, it is most certainly a great way to stay in touch with people who would otherwise have fallen … Read More »

The Kids are Alright . . . Or are they?

– Before I begin, a quick note about my last post, on How to Watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs Online. It seems as though there have been some intermittent problems, but for the most part, I think I can generalize and say it’s working now. So be sure to send it along to friends who might … Read More »

Live in China: Watch Hockey Playoffs Online

– Of all the countless things that us Canadian Laowai miss about being at home, missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs has to rank way up there — right along side real maple syrup and Anne Murray. Well, imagine my surprise when I saw that CBC was going to stream the playoffs live on their website. Wow! … Read More »


– There. I just coined a phrase. I’ve been doing some reading today (Note: that makes it a good day for me), and I’ve been seeing many articles and postings published by the China-focused academia or journalism community. Like the Nutty Yale Professor a while back, these articles leave me with a certain sour taste in … Read More »

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