Fakes and “Face”

Chances are, when you think of China, one of the things you think about is cheap, fake goods at the underground markets. I'm here to tell you it's not just underground, it's everywhere, and I think there's an interesting reason behind China's obsession with knock-off items. Upon arriving in China, I was astonished to see... Continue Reading →


Welcome to Taobao: China’s Online Superstore

  Prepare to be amazed. Taobao, China's version of Ebay/Amazon, is a place you can find just about anything you want there. Though it's comparable to Amazon, the prices are WAY cheaper and shipping is almost always free (considering most things are made in China, so that's a nice perk!). Of course, it's all in... Continue Reading →

WTF Moments

A collection of just a few WTF moments from my time here.   Obama selling chicken. The students think this is a cute floral pattern... Is ice cream made of corn and beans still ice cream...? This fall jacket inspired by the Delta Airlines safety manual. This useful tool. What's the point of taking a... Continue Reading →

The Price of Beauty

I've been putting this blog off for a while, partially because there's so much to talk about I worried I couldn't remember it all, and partially because it's so complicated I fear I won't do it justice. This is a topic that is often at the forefront of my mind every day here in China.... Continue Reading →

Don’t Take That Tone With Me, Missy!

  Think reading Chinese characters sounds hard? That's not the only challenge in learning Chinese. Chinese is a tonal language, which means the tone of voice one uses for each syllable gives the word its meaning. There are four tones: high monotone (think singsongy), low to high (like a question), high to low and back... Continue Reading →

What’s Hidden in China’s Parks

I've lived near Shapingba--a major shopping and business district in Chongqing--for nearly a year now. It's always bustling with university students going to see movies and shopping with friends, couples donning high fashion bags and expensive beauty products, and families going out to nice restaurants for dinner. It's a comfortable area, yes, but is this... Continue Reading →

Tell Me, How Am I Supposed To Breathe With No Air?

If you don't consider pollution and other environmental issues a priority and problem, keep reading. Perhaps you caught wind and even followed the Paris conference on climate change back in December. Headway was made and plans for emission cuts were set forth, with China's negotiators leading the conversation. These talks of change and agreements (made... Continue Reading →

3 Days in Zhangjiajie

When I came to China, I was really looking forward to traveling to many different cities. But I knew there was truly only one place on my China Bucket List from the very beginning--Avatar Mountains. Perhaps you remember this 2009 fantasy by James Cameron, with blue people that inhabited a different planet and an underlying... Continue Reading →

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