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?)

Independence Day in Shanghai

At the end of June, Andy and I decided we were sick of Chinese food. Even though we have found a few lovely little Chinese restaurants nearby, the same old, same old was dull. We missed food from home… so we started asking ourselves where we could get some real American food—not Chinesified American food… Continue reading Independence Day in Shanghai