The Shanghai Ronin is Leaving Shanghai

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Taking The Leap

The craziest adventure in my life was not joining the JET Programme and moving to a village in no-man’s-land Japan for two years as the lone foreigner. It was not dropping everything and randomly studying Chinese in Beijing. It wasn’t even venturing through the countryside of China and traveling by bus to the depths of Vietnam alone. No. All of those things, to me, are semi-normal.

The decision to move to Shanghai was the most rash, insane, and completely bewildering change of my life. read more

Moganshan, an Easy Shanghai Weekend Getaway

新年好!

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Happy Chinese New Year!

So it’s Chinese New Year, I have a long holiday, but I don’t have enough money to make it back to the states and I don’t want to join the throngs of tourists going to the Great Wall or Terracotta Warriors.

I wanted a holiday without the crowds, without breaking the bank, and without the hassle.

Getting Away From the City

The problem with Shanghai is that the closest getaways are Hangzhou and Suzhou, which are both huge, sprawling cities filled with so much congestion and clutter it’s actually more stressful going there than actually staying in Shanghai. Finding a nice, natural retreat from Shanghai can sometimes seem impossible. Therefore, I’d like to introduce two locations that are not only a short train ride away from Shanghai, but are also surprisingly vacant of the usual horde of Chinese tourists. read more

The Char Shu Bun Babe

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Habits. Schedules. Rituals. Sometimes it feels great to have routine in life, and nothing makes you feel warmer and fuzzier than finding out you have one in a foreign country. It helps you realize that yes; unexpectedly, you somehow managed to plant roots in this new place that you somehow home. The city is accepting you not as a foreign object or something that needs to be discarded; but rather, it’s slowly warming up to you and inching in closer and closer like a curious kitten meeting its new master. read more

Helping Those in Need: China Version

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Reading this article (in Chinese) brought me back to one of my Chinese lessons at Tsinghua University back in 2010.

What Would You Do?

“Let’s say you’re walking down the street,” my Chinese teacher begins. “You see a child playing in the street, running around, and he suddenly falls down and hurts himself.  You see the child crying and there’s even some blood on the pavement.  What do you do?”

My Cambodian/American classmate, without hesitation, responds: “Go over there and see if the kid is ok, of course!” read more

Singles Day in Asia

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光棍节

I was browsing through advertising agency news when I stumbled upon this article concerning China’s equivalent to Black Friday in the United States.

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In other words

Single’s Day

Leave it up to the Chinese to create a holiday that is, utterly, pointless.  “Single’s Day” was supposedly devised up by some really lonely college students in a dorm, and somehow the craze has spread to the national scale–with the entire country recognizing this bizarre phenomenon and celebrating it much like the Moon Festival or even New Years.  There really is no deeper meaning to the day other than the fact that 1 is a lonely number, and 4 of them lined up together makes it even lonelier—thus, ensuing commiseration. read more

Inside the Mind of a Chinese Woman

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Inside the Mind of a Chinese Woman

I was having dinner with my old classmate yesterday  and she basically poured out her soul to me.

Now usually when someone opens their heart to you; really, just spills their guts, you discover new things about people you never knew before.

You start to question your own life, your own goals, this world, the universe, why life and death exist.  Nothing is the same for you, for your friend–for anyone.

My reaction?

 Do all Chinese Women Want the Same Thing? read more