Chinese bingo takes place at the bank. To enter, you go to the bank with all your official documents so you can do an international money transfer, then you fill out some papers with your account number and passport number and a few other details. You give them to an international bank teller, who stamps… Continue reading How to lose at Chinese bingo
I often receive questions from current and former students, either by email or through WeChat. Sometimes they’re about something specific at the university, others they’re about a muddy grammatical rule, and still others they’re in pursuit of culturally-specific usages within English. The last kind are my favorite. But regardless of the type of question, I… Continue reading Cultural impediments
When was the last time you dried your hands with toilet paper? I’m sure it wasn’t your first choice for a just-washed-my-hands-after-using-the-toilet situation, but perhaps it was all you could find in a public restroom. But what if it was the norm? What if paper towels weren’t provided, air dryers weren’t provided, and maybe even toilet… Continue reading For when you gotta go
I missed this one last year, in the throes of moving apartments, not getting paid, culture shock, and frankly being too dang busy… but it’s the mid-autumn festival today. So, 中秋节快乐! 🙂 (zhong qiu jie kuai le!) (Literally happy [kuai le / 快乐] mid [zhong／中] autumn [qiu／秋] festival [jie／节].) The mid-autumn festival is a celebration… Continue reading Mooncake mania
This past week, I had so many meetings that I had to ask the schedulers to start 15 minutes later to give me time to get from one meeting to the next. (It felt pretty cool to be in high demand!) One set of meetings, however, I wisely scheduled back-to-back in the same building–one on… Continue reading Don’t take the stairs
I know some of this is latent caffeination. Some of it is the new job I’ve just taken. Also in the mix is my anxiety about the state of the world, including those suffering through a notably bad hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. But I’ve been awake since 3 a.m., and… Continue reading A brighter burn
I’ll be running around between north and south campuses this week, teaching first year university students and graduate students alike… but I’ll be back to teaching and that makes me so happy.