Showing posts from December, 2009


This was my lunch a few days ago when I was out and about. I stopped into a Xinjiang lunch spot and enjoyed my dish of some peppers and a bit of spicy beef over rice. The soup is complimentary.  Xinjiang is the northwestern-most province in China:  a gigantic, underdeveloped and wild but beautiful part of the world.  There are numerous non-Chinese local languages spoken there, predominantly Uighur but many others as well.  Also the native people from this region are caucasians.  This region borders on Tibet and the Stans as well as other far western areas of China. Kashgar on the Silk Road is a major city in Xinjiang; the capital is Urumqi.   

> Two Months of Holidays

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. —Peg Bracken.

What do we do when it gets cold in Shanghai?  We bake, drink tea and go out for hot pot.  Hot pot is a steaming vat of broth, sometimes divided into two sections with one very spicy and one more mild, that you add ingredients into to cook at your table.  Then you take out the food and dip it into a sauce that you created. 

Did I mention that we play on the internet and I like to use Skype...when it works!  Lately it seems like my connection crashes over and over. 

This holiday season I am getting on a plane and going to my home in the states.  I have many people in my life I am grateful for and will get to see some of them during this vacation.  This week I have only to go to work and prepare mentally for that long flight and the mental cultural shift of life for 2 weeks in the states.  
The twelve days of Christmas from the west is more like the two months of holidays in Shanghai.  It star…

You know you've been in China for a while when...

-everyone you know has had some kind of major digestive problem that seemed life-threatening at the time -you no longer ask why, you just go on with a WTF sigh -it's an ordinary thing to see someone walking backwards clapping their hands on the sidewalk -you get on the elevator and there is you, a family of 3, a bike, and a stroller and it doesn't seem crowded -you are used to getting your salary in cash -your taxi swiped your refillable pay card and switched it on you to one with a zero balance -you live in local housing and have no heat source in your kitchen or bathroom, but that's ok because why do we heat them anyway? -receiving international personal mail is a cause for celebration -you regularly take motorcycle taxis...