Displaced repatriation

The idea of home is rather foreign when most of your belongings are packed up in one state two time zones away…


A Farewell to Fapiaos

Goodbye Suzhou, Jiangsu, And Jinji and Dushu Lakes. Adios to every single one of my Chinese language mistakes. Goodbye to using tissues as napkins; Goodbye to no napkins at all. Goodbye to taking my own toilet paper to the bathroom stall. Goodbye, freezing at my desk; Good riddance, short-people sinks. Goodbye insufficient heating and tap… Continue reading A Farewell to Fapiaos

Cultural impediments

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

Mooncake mania

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

Risk and reward

I pack up my gym bag and stand, hesitant. I could easily walk out of the locker room and be on my way. Or I could do the thing I’ve been thinking about for a solid five minutes and talk to her. I take a tentative step towards her and a small voice I don’t recognize as my own begins to pour from my mouth: “ 你时yoga老师马?” (ni shi yoga laoshi ma? / you are a yoga teacher?)