Why 666 is a “Lucky Number” in China

It was 2017 when I first heard “666” in my classroom. I was taken aback; my sweet students were shaking their fists with their thumb and pinky out, chanting “six six six” in English at their classmates doing a grammar racing game on the chalk board. I left class that day feeling bemused and more than a little perplexed. After this initial observation, I began noticing 666’s positioned seemingly randomly around town. Pretty sure not everyone was a Satanist, I set out to investigate what was going on.

Xia He Tower 廈河塔

I could catch glimpses of the clear silhouette of the skinny pagoda, visible against the green backdrop of the mountains, and as I zigzagged through traffic, I decided to just go for it. My bike was running on a full night’s charge, and I was feeling good after successfully picking up my train tickets. I…

Hong Kong香港: Asia’s World City Part I Kowloon

Bright sunlight sparkled on the water amidst the bobbing solar panels scattered about the ocean. The Shenzhen skyline faded in the distance as my friend, Carol, and I rode a crowded double-decker bus early in the morning across the bridge to the palm tree-lined coast of Hong Kong (HK).  Sounds of Cantonese had washed over…

Settling into China (Again)

This summer really flew by didn’t it? My last two months and a half  were mostly spent traveling to see friends and family and spending time with my husband, Mark, and our little dwarf hamster. We were able to squeeze in a visit to a few places we had been meaning to go to such as…

Xiamen厦门: Barcelona of the East, Garden on the Sea

All year I’ve been bombarded with tales of how amazing Xiamen is – mainly that it’s a gorgeous island with a plethora of great food. After spending a day and half in this city, I can say that they were right! In the short amount of time I was here, Xiamen has become one of…

China’s Strange Obsession with Peppa Pig (小猪佩奇)

Remember, back in May of 2018, when a meme on Facebook made the rounds saying, “China banned Peppa Pig for being too Gangsta?!” I remember reading it and laughing at the time, but now I can’t help wishing it was true. Peppa Pig is a British children’s cartoon centered on a young anthropomorphic she-pig, named…

Of Giant Tulous, Needy New Friends, and Accidental Sugar Daddies Part 2

Yellow shirt guy, seated up front, was a pretty good driver. In many instances, he timed the precise moment another car would’ve caused a head-on collision and swerved, despite his hangover. While Carol and I talked to each other about how “fluffy” the bamboo trees looked compared to those in Zhejiang province, we overheard the…

Of Giant Tulous, Needy New Friends, and Accidental Sugar Daddies Part 1

“No way. Did he just scoot closer and nuzzle my shoulder?!” I thought as I felt a hand rest against my thigh. Oh. Hell. No. For expats living in China, we have something called our “Chinese bucket list” that ranges from the strangely interesting and unexpected to the highly unwanted. Most recently, mine includes how…